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Religion and Spirituality

part 1

by Roy Masters

Part 3 of former CBS news correspondent William Wolff’s provocatice book on Religion and Spirituality

Mrs. J. A. is a charming sort. She'd be a hard person not to like. In fact, all her life, family and friends considered her to be the most normal and easy-going gal anyone could ever hope to meet. Everyone described her as being a "nice guy." In any popularity contest, she'd win hands down.

Mrs. J. A. might very well have been a top movie actress had she stayed with it. But when she married, the glamour of the screen was gladly exchanged for the more important role of housewife and mother, "And after nineteen years of marriage, there are ot regrets."

Her husband, a movie actor whose first marriage to and subsequent divorce from a former child super-star made headlines, did not really object when his wife started meditating. He just wondered--as everyone else did--why on earth she, of all people, needed to meditate.

"I had tremendous inner turmoil. It seemed to be snowballing. I was getting sicker and sicker and all sorts of negative things were happening to me."

As in so many other cases, it was a friend who told her about Roy Masters. After listening to the enthusiastic recommendation, she decided to attend an evening lecture at the Foundation to hear for herself about this process of stilling the mind.

"Almost from the start, I had good results. Maybe not so earth-shaking as some people, but it changed my life." Then she added, perhaps a little ruefully, "I haven't quit smoking yet, but one of these days, I'm sure I will."

Maybe meditation hasn't helped her get rid of cigarettes, but it did bring to light some deeply buried resentments that had been eating away at her. "In meditating with the record, hostilities that I had unknowingly harbored all my life just seemed to bubble up to the surface. And as I observed them, they dissolved and I was free. . . ."

Many of the changes, she explained, had been gradual and so delicate that she hardly realized what was happening until long afterwards. "Do you know, Mr. Wolff, I haven't even needed an aspirin for the last year."

Her husband started meditating about six weeks after his wife began, and is as enthusiastic about it as she is. No doubt they will be greeted each morning by listening to the stillness within.

. . . .You will not feel the need of approval of other people.

--Roy Masters' Conquering Daily Problems side Two, Meditation

Case #7

Jimmie Smith gave me permission to use his name in this true-life account of a most timely meditation experience. In light of today's tense racial situation, I especially appreciate his allowing the cloak of anonymity to be dropped for this particular case history.

When I first heard the dapper, thirty-year-old lecturer speak, I was favorably impressed by his quiet yet forceful manner of expression. He effectively communicated what were obviously sincere and heartfelt feelings about the meditation technique that had helped to changed his life. It was also obvious that several of those sitting with me that afternoon weren't at all sure they liked hearing profound advice from a relatively young man whose skin happened to be a different color than theirs. Of course, Jimmie Smith sensed as much and --I suspect--enjoyed the challenge. At lecture's end, the entire audience had been won over and many crowded around him asking questions.

It was months later, on a local TV show, that I heard Jimmie confess he had once been an advocate of black militancy. I was frankly surprised. This neatly groomed, purposeful human being looks and sounds like a psychologist or sociologist at times, and it’s hard for me to imagine him as a proponent of black power.

Six years ago, Jimmie reacted to life a lot differently. He had been bitter (and perhaps rightly so) about the way "Whitey" was keeping him from making a living in his chosen career. University-educated, Jimmie was keenly sensitive to the discrimination he faced at every turn. It cut deeply. But he didn’t intend to take that kind of treatment without fighting back. Joining with other young Afro-Americans, he worked for an organization called the Self-Determination Committee. He toured the country getting signatures on a petition that protested the Emancipation Proclamation. When enough signatures had been gathered, they intended to ask the United Nations to formally charge the United States with genocide. Like his peers, Jimmie was an angry young man.

One evening in a small, ramshackle wooden church in the black section of Birmingham, Alabama, after he had finished delivering a particularly emotional speech, the elderly pastor of the congregation stepped up to him and said, "Son, those were mighty strong words you said from my pulpit. But just remember, you can’t go nowhere without God."

Strangely enough, Jimmie did remember. Those words, for some unexplainable reason, kept coming back to him, haunting him, pricking his conscience. Every time he recalled the scene, he’d think, "How can a man really make contact with God and hear Him?


Back in Los Angeles, frustrated and longing for something he couldn’t articulate, Jimmie heard about the Foundation of Human Understanding. He had been invited to attend a black rally protesting police brutality that day, but halfway there he turned around and made his way to hear Roy Masters. "At first, I considered what Roy was taking about to be pretty far out. I attended a few more lectures and listened to him on the radio and even sent for the record. . . but I did not get around to using it. I left L.A. again for a while. Then when I came back I started meditating with the record."

Jimmie had studied theatrical makeup at USC, hoping to work in motion pictures as a makeup man. But he could never get into the guild that controlled all such employment. In 1963, he had submitted an application. Five years later, after the riots, he received a notice listing the requirements for eligibility for apprenticeship.

Although he is still interested in the art, a new career has opened up; it’s one that may have an important effect on this nation’s future. In Jimmie’s own words: "There’s a desperate need for a rebirth of consciousness, motivation, intent, and response in all people, regardless of color, economic strata, or education. Without it," Jimmie warns"-- chaos."

Masters’ meditation technology, Jimmie told me, has redirected his entire life. Aside from his lecture activity, he is gaining valuable broadcasting experience on a local FM radio station, plus guesting on various TV shows. So now, instead of covering up faces with grease paint, Jimmie Smith is washing away hatred and ignorance from all who will listen to the same Truth that freed him from the burden of reacting wrongly to a world he never made.

Hostility makes us feel right in our wrong, and our sense of rightness stimulates us to be aggressive.

--Roy Masters’ Your Mind Can Keep You Well (book) Chapter V, "Why We Are Afraid"

The effect of Masters’ message is also clear of course in the lives of those closely associated with the Foundation of Human Understanding. One of these men, A. Marcus Jensen, has made significant contribution to the Foundation; lucky indeed is the organization or cause that attracts this special breed of believer.

A. Marcus Jensen is a man who always puts not only his money but his valuable time and considerable energy into anything he considers worthwhile. He prefers action to words, and at fifty-four years of age his deeds in the construction business have earned for him a tidy fortune and reputation for integrity. Unlike that of the typical high-powered businessman (who has carved out his niche in the commercial world with little assistance from anyone else), Marcus Jensen’s prime motivation is not money nor ego-satisfying industrial triumph. All his life, even while making himself known in the competitive marketplace, he has sought out the elusive answers to the questions every true seeker ponders in the quiet moments of the soul.

His parents had him baptized into the Mormon faith, but by his sixteenth birthday he had chosen to leave the church. "It just wasn’t for me," he says. And so began a search for something that would fill the void. His investigations into one religion after another failed to uncover that special something for which he so desperately longed. Then he discovered metaphysics and before long involved himself deeply with a New Thought church headed by an ex-Catholic priest who preached convincingly on the power of the mind and the efficacy of positive affirmation.

"The guy had me fooled for a little while," Marcus Jesnsen admits. "But it wasn’t too long before I began to realize the fallacy of his philosophy. The clincher came one evening when I invited the good doctor to my home to give a talk to a group of my closest friends. I paid him cash for his time.

"Well, he came all right. Trouble was . . . he had been drinking. In fact, he was pretty well looped. Then, when he started making lewd remarks and passes at the teenage girls present, I called a cab and sent him home. I never bothered attending another of his Sunday services after that."

Marcus Jesnsen is one of the country’s leading house-moving contractors and also has extensive dealings in the field of land development and financing. He’s on the go a great deal of the time and it was on a busy day, while he was hurrying to look over some very important property for a possible shopping center site, that he happened to hear Roy Masters. Marcus’s alert mind immediately perceived the significance of what he was hearing. A practical man, he was well aware of truth’s value; he isn’t the type to become addicted to rose-colored glasses.

Decisiveness is one of Jensen’s predominant traits, and once he had weighed in his mind the relative importance of action that could lead to a hundred-thousand-dollar deal against the promise being made on the air, that there was a method by which one could remain poised and unruffled even in the midst of the most pressing crisis, his choice was made. Making a U-turn, Marcus Jensen headed his Cadillac toward the Foundation of Human Understanding. He wanted that record and he wanted it without delay.

While picking up the LP, he examined some of the literature on display. It was then that he spotted Roy Masters’ The Secret Language Behind the Power of Suggestion. Thinking back, Marcus recalled, "That pamphlet nearly put me into orbit. It seemed to have an energy all its own . . . like it was alive."

I think I know what he meant. Listening to Roy and reading his work can be like studying the Bible by lightning-flash. Brilliantly potent ideas, the kind that can wrench the mind free from brutal, binding concepts, come rolling out every now and then from his complex, wordy paragraphs; they explode with a thunderous roar and then . . .painful silence. The natural reaction is to grab out in a vain attempt to retain the fading echo, but it all too quickly dissolves into the ether.

Marcus Jensen informed me that he wasted little time utilizing Masters’ meditation record to the fullest. One of the first things he did was to purchase a portable battery-operated phonograph so he could hear the instructions in his car no matter where his work took him. And listen he did; at busy construction sites and desolate suburban areas, beside noisy railroad tracks and on quiet side streets, in the privacy of his office and home, over and over he heard Roy’s message until it became his.

"Marcus," I asked, "what was it that most impressed you about what Roy Masters on the LP?"

He answered, "After listening to the record, I saw life."

Not fully understanding, I requested clarification.

"Did anything . . . . special happen to you?"

There was a slight chuckle. "You might say so, Bill."

"Like what?"

"Right after I heard the record, I never smoked another cigarette . . . . and that was five years ago. It’s funny, the idea of giving up smoking never even entered my mind when I listened to Roy."

"Did you have much of cigarette habit?"

"Up’til then, I smoked about five packs a day."

The more he changed through meditation, the more it seemed to disturb those around him. "Strange, but a lot of my friends and even some of my family were very upset at how I changed. Many employees quit," Marcus told me.

He explained that his new-found truth was too much for them. "I didn’t think I was any different. Sure, I was maybe more honest . . . more outspoken, and they couldn’t stand to be around anyone who expressed him-self honestly."

Apparently there was more of a change in him than he realized. His wife started divorce proceedings but eventually decided against the action and dropped it. Jensen remained steadfast in his new attitude; he didn’t care if he ended up all alone and lost every penny.

Marcus Jensen, as I have already indicated, shows his gratitude not with words but deeds. As Vice President of the Foundation, he is now in the process of helping acquire a larger building, one capable of seating many more people than the present limited quarters. Someday soon, if all goes well, the Foundation of Human Understanding will be better able to accommodate the thousands who are also seeking that special something Marcus Jensen seems to have found.

Another meditation enthusiast, Bob McQuain, was a far different type from the house-moving tycoon. when I was first introduced to Bob, I knew that I had seen him someplace before; but where? It wasn’t long before the answer popped into my memory. The husky, six-foot-three McQuain had been a television actor on The Andy Griffith Show, Perry Mason, and the Gunsmoke series. He had also starred in a Pasadena Playhouse production with comedienne Zsa Zu Pitts that received excellent press reviews.

As a talented newcomer to Hollywood, he had a bright future; important people were aware that he existed and a mighty TV mogul had taken Bob into his "stable." He had two avenues of entry into the world of film-making; he could stick with acting or he could take his place among the well-paid ranks of the production end of the entertainment industry. As it turned out, he deserted the dream merchants and cast his lot with the "Great Awakener," Roy Masters (for considerable less money), as a full-time associate.

Knowing how desperately thousands of eager Thespians struggle to get even a toe in the door of the Hollywood star-makers, I had to wonder know this fellow McQuain, who had had the door personally opened for him, could slam it shut and walk away. Did he lack stamina? To an actor it’s as important as talent and ability. Or did the young performer’s urge for self-expression (always abnormal among artists of any persuasion) "normalize" when he saw that his need for audience adulation resulted from fear--the terrible fear of emptiness that plagues all who are separated from Truth?


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