Monday, August 31, 2009

Reflections on my Mormon Past from my Orthodox Present

This essay is intended for my Mormon, Orthodox and Christian families.



Original Post: August 31, 2009
Last updated: December 2, 2009


Salt Lake City Mormon Temple

Kiev Orthodox Monastery




Chapter One: Early Years
Chapter Two: Four High Council Encounters
Chapter Three: Santa Fe Stake Reorganized
Chapter Four: Russian Easter at Long Beach Third Ward
Chapter Five: Angry Granddaughter
Chapter Six: Stake Presidents I have known
Chapter Seven: Other notable Mormons I have known

To be added upon....

CHAPTER ONE. Early Years
My late father was baptized Nikolai Nikolayevich Kovalenko in a Russian Orthodox ritual in infancy in 1903 in Ukraine, but there is no evidence he was ever active. In fact, he once told me near the end of his life in 1964 that he considered himself an atheist in his early years before and during the Russian war years of 1917-20 when he was a boy soldier. This was because he could not believe in the kind of God proclaimed by Russian Orthodox believers in his country. That was a time of great unrest and tumult in the Russian empire against a corrupt church and an oppressive government.

Thus, Dad had no meaningful religious training before being caught up by the White Army during the Russian Revolution and civil war, becoming a refugee afterwards and finally leaving his family and country for good.

The Russian revolutionary eruptions in the early 20th century in 1905 and 1917 were caused by a deep religious foment during the 19th century, which produced such great writers as Pushkin, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Chekov and others. This foment was mirrored in America by religious revivals in the early 1800s that inspired Alexander Campbell, Joseph Smith and the Mormon experience, but in a different manifestation. In both declared Christian countries this religious foment reflected a lost sense of spiritual authenticity.

Out of such circumstances and post war consequences, my Orthodox-born agnostic/atheist father came to America in 1922, eventually traveled west and converted to Mormonism in Salt Lake City circa 1929. In 1932 he traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, where he met and married my mother, a descendant of Mormon pioneers.

The Mormons gave Dad stability, if not identity, plus an extended family and a new vision for life. He embraced Mormonism with enthusiasm, but not without reservation. Even though it was not a perfect fit, he stayed with his Mormon family and adopted religion to his dying day, leaving his family a mixed legacy of commitment, creativity and uncertainty. The Mormon preoccupation with genealogy allowed Dad to give his two sons an interest in their paternal roots, albeit with an agenda of conversion to the Mormon version of “the one true faith”.

I was born in 1933 with the last name “Kregg” (Dad’s second name change after coming to America) and my brother Virgil was born a year later. We were both reared in Phoenix in an active Mormon community without the slightest knowledge of Orthodoxy and very little knowledge of our Russian/Ukrainian heritage. It wasn’t until I joined the US Army early in 1953 to be trained as a Russian interpreter that I encountered the Russian Orthodox tradition by joining a Russian student choir, becoming a soloist and learning to sing the traditional chant “S nami Bog” (God is with us). That experience sowed the seeds of Orthodoxy that would take root over 5 decades later.

I was a quiet child and teenager and took my Mormon upbringing seriously. At age 16 (1950), I experienced a first sense of spiritual calling which seemed to have nothing to do with Mormonism. It frightened me and I repressed the memory. It would resurface 41 years later.

During elementary school years, my brother and I attended the local ward Primary program and my fondest memories were of loving, gentle women such as Ruth Stapley, Lottie Sorenson, La Priel Smith, Phoebe Openshaw and aunt Florence Clawson. They became loving maternal role models. They also taught me a song, which colored most of my early life:

“A Mormon boy, a Mormon boy, I am a Mormon boy. I might be envied by a king, for I am a Mormon boy.”

Obviously, such songs were meant to influence children with a sense of high self-esteem and they had qualified success with me and apparently unqualified success with my brother.

During my senior year in high school (1950-51) I was one of several Mormon teen-age priests called to participate in an experimental stake (local) procelyting mission as a junior companion. My senior companion was Trent Rogers, a large, powerfully built and committed man whose profession was operating heavy construction equipment. I loved and admired Trent. He became a role model for me, which was the basic objective of the experimental program. That is, it was intended to provide promising young Mormon men with augmented, mature spiritual companionship during their formative years. My father was not a strong leader nor involved much in my life in those years from the perspective of caring and concerned Mormon leaders. The local mission call was a well conceived and effective youth program, for which Mormons are well known.

My mother, a totally committed Mormon without the questions or the flexibility of my father, assumed a de facto family leadership role in my formative years, directly and indirectly. This would become a mixed blessing after the death of my father in 1964. Throughout most of my early and middle life, she typically positioned herself as the private secretary to church ecclesiastic leaders. The first such position that I recall was as the transcribing secretary for Phoenix Stake Patriarch Orlando C. Williams, who pronounced a patriarchal blessing upon me when I was just ten. That was an unusually early age for such a directive blessing, which more normally was given to youth in their middle or late teens. Later leaders who engaged Mother were several bishops and stake presidents, one of which became a regional representative. She seems to have had ecclesiastical ambitions for her sons early in their lives.

After high school I attended BYU for the year 1952 until I quit school to return home intending to marry my girl friend, Vonda Squire. While at BYU I took a quarter of Russian, which would eventually qualify me for Russian interpreter training at the Army Language School (ALS) in Monterey, California.

At the ALS I came into contact with Orthodox Russians for the first time. At no time then or later did they ever proselyte me or anyone that I knew of. Their attitude seemed much like that of the Jews. “Orthodoxy manifests itself; it does not try to explain itself”, wrote Orthodox priest, martyr and Saint Pavel Florensky in his 1922 magnum opus Iconostasis.

CHAPTER TWO. Four High Council Encounters
From Army Language School days beginning in 1953 and subsequent years to April 1966, my personal, professional and spiritual life underwent dramatic changes primarily in dealing with, coping with and trying to understand the Mormon ecclesiastical enterprise. The result was four encounters with Mormon high councils.

First Encounter
The first Mormon "High Council" encounter came in a dream the night of April 2-3, 1966, while on the way to visit relatives of my wife-to-be in the San Francisco Bay area.
3 April 1966
Carmel, CA
0515... I become aware of lying face down, naked, between two metal posts on some kind of altar. Many men are milling around, members of the Mormon priesthood (in their temple robes), going about their business in preparation to experiment with me. I'm being groomed or prepared for something. I accept the situation without question.

Then, one man comes over, having recognized me, and asks, "How was Mazatlan?" (Up to this time everything had seemed impersonal.) I reply, "Oh, there were some complications and we haven't made it yet. It's still pending." Another brother (familiar face, reddish hair, one who curries favor with leaders) looks up a little surprised and asks if my first name is Gene.

I acknowledge this and then realize he now knows who I am and of the stake action taken against me. I watch him go over to Brother Kenner, the presiding authority, and whisper in his ear while looking and pointing at me. Brother Kenner looks up at me angrily and with a fierce look gestures quickly with his right thumb (like the umpire in a baseball game) for me to get out immediately.

Frightened, I get up and begin running away, still naked, and feel like Cain fleeing. On my way out I hear angry voices behind me. Someone shouts, "I'll kill him! I'll kill him!" Another voice interrupts (the voice of Ferren L. Christensen). Emphatic and calm, he says, "No one In this church ever better be found killing one of these!" ...

I awoke deeply distressed.

This dream did not make sense until the following May (1966). While on a Mothers Day phone call to my mother, two local stake high councilmen, whom I did not know, knocked on the front door of the Laguna Beach house I was living in. I opened the door but could not talk to them, since I was still on the phone to Mother. Without a word except to verfy my name, they handed me an official-looking envelope and left.

Not knowing the nature of the contents, I explained to Mother that a letter had just come under official LDS stationery. She was eager to hear what it said, so I opened and read it aloud. It was notification of my excommunication and Mother was horrified! It was the worst news she could have imagined and she thought I saved the letter to read to her at that moment to torment her. There was nothing more to say to her; denials would mean nothing.

After hanging up I examined the date on the letterhead. It was April 2, 1966, and then looked in my dream journal for any possible dreams on that date. I discovered the dream above and it suddenly made sense.

Notice the question in the dream about "Mazatlan". That nails the connection! Mazatlan in Mexico was the place Lawrene and I had decided upon to get married to make our lives legal. Unfortunately, a legal snag developed and we discovered that the first legal day possible would be the following year on April 6.

Thus, this first outer encounter on Mothers Day 1966 had an inner counterpart a month earlier and hundreds of miles away.

Second Encounter
By September 1968 my marriage to Lawrene had become legal and our son Michael was almost two. I was given opportunity by stake president Ferren L. Christensen to appeal the 1966 excommunication and to face the High Council, none of whom I knew. But they were gentle and kind with their questions. After an hour or so of Q & A, one councilman exclaimed, "Why is this man out of the Church?" and invited me to rejoin. I thanked them but replied that my purpose was to set the record straight and to deliver to the stake president the original document [the revelation on the Negro] dated 25 July 1965 and say, "President, my job has been to survive long enough to get this document into your hands and out of mine. Whatever you do with it now is up to you."

After again thanking President Christensen, his two counselors, and the twelve high councilmen for their consideration, I bade them goodbye and left, never expecting to return to the institution.

Third Encounter.
It is July 1975. Laguna Beach Bishop Rondel Hanson has just presented me to the Newport Beach Stake High Council as a candidate for rebaptism [see blog "Grand Canyon Baptism", June 27, 2009] President Ferren L. Christensen has given permission for my 17-year-old son Nicholas to stand with me as personal witness. My mother, Christensen's private secretary, sits fearfully just outside the door of the council chambers. This HC is not friendlyl and begins an intense interrogation. "Do you still claim to be a prophet?" one man asks angrily. I reply that I cannot deny my experiences. Other challenging questions are voiced from around the room and the situation doesn't look promising.

Into this tense atmosphere Ferren Christensen suddenly interrupts, exclaiming: "Brethren!! This man has had irrefutable experience! You cannot require him to deny what he has experienced and knows!"

All councilmen become silent. The one who originally challenged me (who eventually became stake patriarch) says quietly, "I would never want to be found opposing the Prophet." Hesitantly their hands gradually rise until they are all up and I am silently and unanimously received back into full fellowship. Nick and I leave the council chambers quietly and pass by Mother's desk. I hear her quietly say to herself "Oh ye of little faith."

President Christensen gives me the privilege of choosing the date and circumstances for the rebaptism. I have asked that it be performed by my son Nick (a priest in the LDS Aaronic priesthood) in the Pacific Ocean just below the beach house on the morning of July 25, 1975. This is the tenth anniversary of the revelation received early in the morning of July 25, 1965, which original document I had delivered into the hands of Stake President Ferren L. Christensen in a September 1968 rehearing.

From today's perspective (August 2009) it seems there was unfinished business with Mormon ecclesiastics in those days and the Holy Spirit opened their ecclesiastical doors to accomplish it.

Fourth Encounter
On June 6, 1992, I again faced a hostile high council. This time it was Ventura Stake. Stake President Richard S. Bryce, who professionally was the Ventura County Deputy Sheriff, became accuser, prosecutor, judge and jury. His high council was generally quiet and acquiescent, except for one or two questions by only two councilmen. Although it is doctrinally mandated in the Doctrine and Covenants that six council members are to be assigned as defenders and six as prosecutors, I could not tell who was which and no one informed me on the matter. After I objected to the legality and lack of fairness of the proceedings, I was allowed to have one friend sit with me for support. He was Dr. Rex C. Mitchell, a university professor of management and an expert in recording board meeting procedures. Rex and I had been best friends since 1958, where we first met at Berkeley First Ward. He knew me well and quickly realized the abusive nature of the interrogation and began to take notes on anything he could find to write on, not realizing he would need to capture the event. His notes were eventually published and they speak for themselves.

Thus, the unfinished ecclesiastic business seemed finished to me by bringing such abuses into the light. More excommunications of the Mormon intellectual community began, which were highlighted by the notorious purging of "The September Six" the following year 1993. Indeed, the Shadow side of the Mormon ecclesiastical enterprise began to reveal its true nature.

CHAPTER THREE. Santa Fe Stake Reorganized
On August 29-30, 2009, the Santa Fe Stake of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" (Mormon) underwent a major reorganization. I was there. For the first time since it was originally organized in 1981 by Apostle Boyd K. Packer, an apostle from Salt Lake City came as the presiding authority to make the change. This time it was senior Apostle Russell M. Nelson, MD, age 84, who before he was called into the Quorum of the Twelve in 1984, was an internationally celebrated surgeon at the University of Utah Medical Center.

After nine years in office, Stake President Russell T. Pack, along with his two counselors, members of the High Council and other stake officers were released and replaced.

My purpose for attending this particular stake conference was to see if I could discern any subtle changes in Mormon hierarchical attitudes since i had been excommunicated in 1992 and my subsequent years-long one-on-one dialogue with the stake president, Russell T. Pack. I wanted to determine if there was any evidence that the institution, as represented by senior apostle Elder Nelson, had yet become aware of its "shadow", and if so, that it was capable of acknowledging it as the Orthodox Church in America has done this past year. I saw no evidence of this at the time.

In any case, the conference moved me in many ways. The first person to greet me upon arriving at the back of the almost-filled culture hall and stage was senior high councilman Walter Chamberlain, 89, who would be released with others later in the meeting. Walt is an old friend from the 1960s in Southern California. He once accompanied me on the organ in at a Pasadena stake conference in fall 1965. I sang an aria from The Elijah : "If with all your heart you truly seek me, ye shall surely find me...".. Walter, a long-ago convert to Mormonism, is truly a Christian man in my experience of him.

But something became very clear to me in reflecting on the some of the things said by four speakers, especially the out-going stake president. The other speakers that impressed me were the two visiting authorities and SP's wife.

Here is my recent letter to the now former SP sent October 2, 2009:
Dear Russ,
I attended your final stake conference in August on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Perhaps you have been able to relax for a while since your release. Allow me to mention six things that stand out in my memory. First, were your wife’s short, heart-felt remarks on Saturday, which touched me with their simplicity and humility. They were all about love: for the Lord, for you and family and for the members of the stake.

Second, was the warm personal, self-effacing greeting from Walter Chamberlin in the back of the culture hall, who was the first person I met on Sunday morning. (BTW, I don’t know if I’ve ever told you, but Walt and I knew each other as far back as the fall of 1965. He accompanied me then on the organ at a Pasadena stake conference in an aria from The Elijah, which begins: “If with all your heart you truly seek me, you will surely find me…”).

Third, was a moment in your remarks when you spoke of your love for the Savior and your voice broke. Those few seconds touched me more than anything I have heard or read from you before. Then, when you spoke of your desire to go on a mission next spring with your wife, I found myself wishing there was something I could say to you that would bless you in that intent. I would dare say only say this: if those you meet really felt your love for them as you expressed it for the Savior on that Sunday conference morning, then you cannot help but be successful. I wish I had felt such love from you during these past years we have known each other. Obviously, you have not felt mine. Therefore, would you not say there is work to be done here? I had hoped to invite you and Marion to our annual parish dinner last month at the United Church, but didn’t have the courage. Perhaps that can be remedied if you and Marion would accept my invitation to attend the Sunday Liturgy someday at our parish and sing with us. Also, would you and your wife accept Birgitta’s and my invitation to dinner some evening in the near future--before your mission?

Fourth, were the remarks by the man from the Council of the Seventy, especially his story of the miraculous event during the Katrina disaster, where “the Lord used the LDS Church to fill the order” of ten thousand medical supply kits that the Red Cross had inadvertently failed to deliver.

Fifth, was Russell Nelson’s call for all the children to stand and sing a song to give him a memory to cherish. This delighted and reminded me of the theme from a magazine article I read a year ago:

"Imagine that our grandchildren could live in a world where the full blossoming of their individual and collective talents and creativity is at the center of society's attention."

Sixth, was a reminder of how well organized and efficient LDS administration is. I was impressed how you conducted the meetings and how efficient the parking was.

Finally, I want to make you aware of some recent notes from a new friend, Harvey, who is a Lutheran minister and educator in South Carolina whom I met recently at an OCA [Orthodox Church in America] conference in Atlanta. In subsequent correspondence we shared candid views about Orthodoxy, Mormonism and Christianity in general and he surprised me by zeroing in on your question to me in a footnote of my 2008 Sunstone paper [an early draft of which was sent to you for comments] regarding the CREEI process, which I did not answer well. Had I known Harvey’s questions at the time you queried me, perhaps your and my communication would have taken a different tack. Here is his response to your question regarding how I would respond to D&C 50:13-31 for LDS students. Harvey writes:

"In the meantime, I want to send you the questions I posed related to the footnote on page 10 of your presentation to the Sunstone Symposium. Here is what I wrote in the margins as I was reading the paper:

"1. Does this imply the Spirit is limited in how it speaks the truth to us? The Spirit cannot use dreams as a vehicle of truth?
2. An additional question: Who are we to limit the Spirit and the ways in which God chooses to reveal truth to us?
3. If dreams in fact can be shown to be edifying in human spiritual experience, then why would anyone discount them?

"I see nothing in the excerpt from Doctrine and Covenants that precludes the possibility that God and the Spirit can and do speak through dreams. Scripture is full of examples where this is precisely what occurs."


Russ, you recently expressed fear that my interest in sharing dreams with you was to abuse you. I don’t know how you could come to that conclusion, since dreams is a subject I not only value, but revere—in anyone! There is no other person I can think of who knows me and has experienced my workshops and seminars or private serious discussions of the process, who would think that.

Kindly allow me to ask you to reconsider your conclusion.


CHAPTER FOUR. Russian Easter at Long Beach Third Ward
This is an incident of twenty years ago that seems to have set the scene for my recent conversion to Orthodoxy.

Russian Easter
“Is it permitted?”
Ask our two Moscow guests
On a Long Beach bench
As sacred emblems pass our way
“We are not members
Of your church.”

“Yes,” I whisper,
“All are Christians
And believers here.”

Then we three as one
With tear-stained smiles
And Slavic souls communing
Took thus the broken loaf
And through the Ancient date
A Mystery rose to fuse
The Awful Fission.


Long Beach
30 Apr 89


Commentary on Russian Easter.
In early April 1989, before the fall of the USSR, while married to Barbara and living in Long Beach, California, a telephone call came from Marina in Moscow. Marina was the young woman who had been our tour guide in Russia the previous January. She had just received permission to leave the Soviet Union for the first time and wanted to stay a few days with us on her first trip to America. Marina came with her best friend, Lena. Our home was their first stop outside Russia.

We learned that both young women were members of the Russian Orthodox Church and they had scheduled to be in our home during Russian Easter (April 30). Since Easter for Russians is their most important holy day, I took them to the closest Russian Orthodox Church for services. This celebration in their tradition occurs at midnight on Easter morning.

Later that same Russian Easter Sunday, out of interest and curiosity, both Marina and Lena wanted to experience a typical Mormon sacrament meeting and came with my family and me to Long Beach Third Ward. As the bread tray passed along to us sitting on that hard wood pew (Russian Orthodox members always stand in their churches), Marina leaned over to me from my right and whispered, “Is it permitted? We are not members of your church.” She was clearly absorbed in the service and hanging on every word.

Without thinking, I replied spontaneously, “Of course! We are all Christians and believers here.” And with that simple declaration the three of us, Marina, Lena and I, took the bread together.

Shortly after that moment, I began to realize that I had just taken the sacrament for the first time in a way different than I’d ever taken it before. Now, together with these two eager, enthusiastic and sincere believers, albeit from an old, alien and ailing culture, we took the sacrament as fellow believers! All distinctions between us disappeared. And in some mysteriously new and wonderful way, I experienced that ordinance of eating that broken bread together as something more transcendent than at any time previous.

With our Russian friends, I realized that I was more than a member of the Mormon Church. In this realization I began to experience an extraordinary sense of freedom to participate with any other believer in any other worship setting. The setting, itself, became insignificant. The institution became insignificant. It no longer mattered whether it was formal or informal. What became significant was acknowledging membership in a community of believers. By that simple act of taking bread together distinctions were obliterated, and I realized I had joined a far more fundamental and universal spiritual community!.

Several days later the deeper irony of that unplanned moment began to dawn on me. As I have said before, up until then I had been preoccupied with and focused on a Mormon Mission to Moscow. I had invested over thirty years of preparation into a completely Mormon-centered enterprise. Now, in one spontaneous moment of providential good humor, I experienced a Moscow Mission to Mormons! I felt my thirty year preoccupation transform in a moment—as if in a twinkling of an eye. In that moment I felt open to whole new universes of Good News! In that moment a new understanding of a universal law began to awaken in my consciousness. And it has taken time to begin to apply this new understanding—this subtle but major shift in my personal values—to practical reality.

CHAPTER FIVE. Angry Granddaughter
Yesterday and today (October 3 and 4, 2009) Birgitta and I received angry letters from my granddaughter Annie, recently married and now living near London with her new husband Scott. Her reaction to and rejection of a recent request from me for help regarding our priest Fr. John was a great surprise and shock. This was especially remarkable to me, since she recently served a Mormon mission to England where she met her husband.

Her letters surprised both Birgitta and me, because they gave no evidence of the Christian compassion, forgiveness or understanding that she once represented and taught in England. She is obviously in good standing with her church, because she was allowed to marry in the Mormon temple in London. Inadvertently, she exemplifies why mainline Christian churches do not consider Mormons to be Christians.

Yes, she is angry now and expressing it clearly to me and my wife, citing many reasons which center around her sense of feeling abandoned or ignored by her unworthy grandfather. Nevertheless, even though this has been a shock to us, we may actually be on the edge of getting to the truth of our family process and to a deeper understanding of the purpose for being on this planet. Annie may not ever read this blog series, even though it is dedicated to her and her siblings and cousins, but I am encouraged by this process of blogging as an opportunity to tell one's story and to be held accountable for it.

Perhaps Annie's mother, siblings and cousins will read these words one day and decide to flesh them out into something more authentic, meaningful and human than I am able to manage at present. If so, they are invited--as are any others, whether they love us or hate us--to vent freely and completely their complaints about yours truly on this forum. I pledge to listen and hear any such complaint and to respond with the core qualities Joseph Dillard presents in his IDL process. These are: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, peace of mind, and witnessing. Any who choose to respond may score my responses from 0 to 10 in each case. (For reference, see the general IDL process here.)

Please do not fear to test me on this. Yes, I will be candid. No, I will not avoid any responsible challenge or query.

One additional comment from me: as a believing follower of Jesus of Nazareth, I take great comfort from his declared purpose in the scriptures that he was sent not to the righteous, but to the sinners, of which I am clearly one in the communion of the Orthodox who say and sing this at every service of the Divine Liturgy.

On Monday, October 5, 2009, Cathie wrote from Facebook...
Do ex-Mormon friends count for comment? I read your blog and , as always, find your writing excellent. I think that you do a great job authentically expressing your feelings and growth. I am sorry that you have to experience the pain of angry relatives, as we all do at times. If people could give up having to have things their way and let everyone live their individual truths without expectation and condemnation then we may be able to all get along. It has been my experience, however, that my old Mormon friends only want to bring me back into the fold. They never want to listen to what my experience was that brought me to this point, which totally blows my mind. We have some issues in our family also, mainly with Tom's evangelical, fundamentalist Christian son and daughter-in-law that think we are demon possessed. Imagine that?! I wrote some of it in the first (latest) note on my wall.

Why was she so angry, anyway (in particular)? Is she upset because you left the LDS church? I can't have Mormons on my FB. It doesn't work. I hate to be like that, but I just can't seem to keep my mouth shut yet! :)"


Cathie, thanks for being candid! That's the kind of directness and honesty I want. My erstwhile favorite granddaughter Annie, who now lives in London with her new husband, was angry for my having asked her and her English family to help verify a London address in a scam thing that took in our local priest. I had no idea it would launch long held resentments that I was totally oblivious to. But the truth of feelings got told and that is authentic. Up to now I had been troubled by this girl's phoniness. Her anger isn't phony! And that's progress!

CHAPTER SIX. Mormon Stake (and mission) Presidents (and counselors) I have known

Ferren L. Christensen
Major influence.
Met first in 1956 at Laguna Beach Ward, where he was bishop and I attended with wife, Betty, and first born child Kathy. Just after discharge from US Army after a classified, covert military intelligence assignment. I was angry, highly motivated to get an education and unable to speak about the experience I'd just come back from overseas. It was Ferren who introduced me to President David O. McKay at the Laguna Beach Ward in summer 1957. In April 1979, while living in Provo and having just finished Terry Warner's six weeks experimental BYU Moral Values seminar, I dreamed of Ferren for the first time. The last contact I had with Ferren was just before his death in early 2007, not long after having dreamed of his wife Glennie. He disclosed to me that he had shredded all his papers having anything to do with his ecclesiastic service.

Ivan B. Cutler Counselor stake presidency. University of Utah research director. (1960-64)
Major influence: recruited me from UC Berkeley in early 1960 to U of Utah graduate Ceramic Engineering program and helped me successfully win a three-year NDEA Title IV fellowship for graduate research.

Wilford W. Kirton, Jr. University of Utah stake president (1960-63)
Minor influence

Oscar W. McConkie, Jr. First counselor to and law partner of Wilford Kirton (1961-1965)
Major influence: Set me apart as stake missionary in 1961with an astounding blessing. Was responsible in helping me and family legally change our name from Kregg to Kovalenko. In fall 1965 he instigated a secret Congressional investigation into my military background as a test to my veracity, which I didn't learn about until ten years later.

Morris A. Kjar University of Utah Stake mission president
Major influence. Called me to serve a one-year stake mission in 1961. Extended that mission for a second year to serve as his second counselor in 1962-3. In September 1965 he arranged appointments to see Harold B. Lee, Joseph Fielding Smith and other high Mormon ecclesiastics. In my interview with Harold B. Lee I was astonished by his immediate reaction to me when I walked in the door of his office. He began by shouting orders at me and I thought immediately of my dream of him the previous May 1. See that link for details of this fiery encounter.

Barry P. Knudson San Diego stake president (1965)
Major influence. Was first Mormon Church ecclesiastic I approached in seeking Church support for psy war research program in January 1965. Began first excommunication proceedings in August 19965.

John K. Carmack Los Angles stake president (1975-1978)
Moderate influence. Active correspondence after rejoining Church in 1975.

Richard S. Bryce, Ventura California stake president (1992)
Major influence: Instigated and presided over excommunication proceedings in spring 1992.

Ray Martin, Santa Fe New Mexico stake president (1993-1996)
Moderate influence: Befriended and helped me with relationships to Church when I first moved to Los Alamos after marrying Birgitta in 1993.

Russell T Pack, Santa Fe New Mexico stake president (2005-present 2009)
Major influence [See here for correspondence dialogue]

CHAPTER SEVEN. Other notable Mormons I have known.
David O. McKay
I first met David O. McKay in Laguna Beach in summer 1957. My second contact was in January 1965. Last was in fall 1965, when I wrote a poem to him called Nathan't Cry. In 2005, after reading Greg Prince's biography of McKay, I inquired of the LDS Church archives department if there was anything in Pres. McKay's personal memoirs that was not in Prince's book. They sent me an email scan of Nathan's Cry as the only thing of mine in McKay's personal papers. Of all the things he could have kept, this for me was the most important!

Harold B. Lee
My first experience with Harold B. Lee was in May 1965 in a dream I call "May Day! May Day!
The second and last experience was the following September 1965, which felt eerily like my dream. In fact the dream prepared me for this encounter. Morrie Kjar set up the meeting and when I walked into his office, he started shouting orders at me in very much the same voice I had heard in my dream.

Lowell L. Bennion
The patron saint and mentor of liberal, reflective Mormons.

Henry B. Eyring, Sr.
Dean of the University of Utah Graduate School when I was a grad student there in the early 1960s. Eyring senior was also on my doctoral dissertation committee. See here for two anecdotes I remember.

Neal A. Maxwell
First met Neal when he was a bishop of the University of Utah stake and my friend Rex Mitchell was his first counselor. Rex and I were members of an early dialogue group consisting of Eugene England, xxxx Olivier, Xxxxxx, Rex and myself. Neal came to speak to us once and made us aware of our revolutionary posture. He was also good friends with Bert Todd, my first Russian teacher at BYU in 1952.

Albert Todd
Todd was my first Russian teacher when I attended BYU in 1952. Prior to that time he had been one of two LDS missionaries ejected from Czechoslovakia for spying. It is well known that Neal Maxwell once worked for the CIA. Bert probably did, too, which is probably why he was ejected during his mission to Eastern Europe. Bert eventually became the official translator for well-known Russian poet Evgeny Evtushenko. Later he became chairman of the Slavic Languages Department at Harvard.

Delbert L. Stapely
My stake president when I was a boy growing up in the Phoenix stake. He was my mother's employer at the O. S. Stapely Company in Phoenix before he became an apostle. He and Harold B. Lee were close associates when he asked to read my correspondence with Howard Salisbury, a very close friend of Lee.

T. Bowring Woodbury
I met T. Bowring Woodbury only once. The occasion was an emergency priesthood blessing late one night in February 1964 prior to my defending my doctoral dissertation. His blessing undoubtedly saved my academic career. See here for that story.

Samuel W. Taylor
C. Jess Groesbeck
Thomas Rogers
Gary Browning
G. Eugene England
Terry Warner
Sherman D. Brown

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What Does Orthodoxy Mean to You?

So asked Birgitta this morning at breakfast. That surprised and gave me pause to answer carefully.

What first comes to mind is OCA Metropolitan Jonah's recent speech entitled "Creativity and Tradition".

I'm proud to have joined a tradition, especially that of the Russian Orthodox, that has produced such great artists as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn, as well as composers Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, etc., This gives me a cultural/societal anchor in the world that is far more authentic than my mother's relatively new tradition in which I grew up. Especially transforming for me has been learning about the lives of devout Russian Orthodox priests and monks, such as St. Herman of Alaska, considered a 1794 founder of the Orthodox Church in America and more recently Fr. Arseny, survivor, and St. Pavel Florensky, martyr, of the Soviet gulags.

It was probably Fr. Arseny's example of the Orthodox way of receiving confession, giving spiritual direction and the quality of his prayer life that affected me most profoundly. This Orthodox Odyssey series takes his example as its main inspiration. Furthermore, Fr. Pavel Florensky's chapter on "The Structure of Dreams", in his magnum opus Iconostasis, written in 1922, as well as his rigorous technical background plus his passion for his Orthodox priesthood, amazed me and deepened my excitement of the Russian Orthodox example of courage, commitment and inspiration.

Another powerful example for me is St. Herman of Alaska, a simple monk who was one of the founders of the OCA in Alaska in 1794. He was not even a priest, but his courage, commitment, and love of people made such an impact on so many lives that he is remembered to this day as a miracle worker.

As for having to declare Orthodoxy as the only "right" way, this is not important for me to assert in joining the tradition.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Orthodoxy and Dreams

For reasons I do not yet completely understand, some ecclesiastics in the Orthodox Christian tradition do not generally value dreams. With due respect for this tradition I believe that in light of new knowledge and experience, this attitude should be reexamined.

In the early 1990s, while teaching a dream seminar in Ventura, California, the week's subject focused on the four basic patterns of dreams that I had identified over the years. These patterns are: Transformative, Motivational, Anticipatory and Traumatic. In describing and discussing the "Anticipatory" pattern, one student asked, "Have you ever scored the dreams in the Bible?"

This question stopped me cold!

"No!" I exclaimed with surprise and then excitement. "Thank you for the question, I will look up and score every dream in the Bible this very night and report next week." Since I was then an active Mormon, as were many of the seminar participants, I used the King James Version as my reference. Below is a "CREEI scan" of my findings from that seminar. Before explaining the CREEI scan, please note that of 19 dreams found, 15 are from the Old Testament leaving 4 from the New. The first ten dreams in the Old Testament are found in the Book of Genesis. The last three are in the Book of Daniel, one of which is considered a vision. All 4 of the dreams reported in the New Testament are in Matthew, three of which are Joseph's, which warn him how to protect Mary and Jesus. The remaining dream of Pilot's wife is contemporary with the later life of Jesus. This dream affected Pilot's behavior and decision regarding what to do about Jesus and the Jewish ecclesiastics who sought his life, but not enough to protect him from crucifixion. And because of this, world history was forever changed.

[Note, this list below does not consider "visions" as dreams, with the exception Daniel's dream just mentioned. Visions might be considered to be waking dreams. Conversely, dreams might be considered to be night visions.]

The very first dream in the Bible (in Genesis) is where God makes a covenant with Abram and changes his name to Abraham. It scores "Anticipatory-Traumatic". Such dreams profoundly frighten the dreamer.

Note also that ALL but two of the 19 dreams in the Bible score "Anticipatory" (prophetic, precognitive). This obviously seems why they were important enough to be recorded in the sacred record.

Only one dream, King Solomon's only recorded dream, scores "Transformative" where Solomon negotiates with God for wisdom and his wish is granted.

The only "Motivational" dream is Egyptian King Abimelech's, which warns him to stay away from Abraham's "sister". Fortunately for him, King Abimelech was motivated to heed the warning.

The seminar student's question allowed us to discover a significant and surprising Biblical treasure.

CREEI scan of Bible Dreams (Click to enlarge)

The CREEI score is based on answers to 12 simple questions, which may be answered Yes (+), No (-) or Don't know (?). The questions can be asked of ANY dream (OR external experience). Note that the term "CREEI" is an acronym composed of the first letters of the key words in the first five questions.

The Twelve CREEI Questions
Questions briefly explained with respect to the dream self in each scene:

1. Is the scene Clear? (Can you describe it clearly?)

2. Is your Role proactive or responsive? (Rather than absent, passive or reactive.)

3. Is your Emotion (passion) high?

4. Are you Expressing your emotion?

5. Are you Interacting with others? (Rather than withdrawing or being alone.)

6. Is the scene complete or resolved? (Is there a sense of closure?)

7. Is it pleasant? Does it include satisfaction, joy, beauty, aesthetics and/or abundance?

8. Are you secure? (Do you feel safe?)

9. Do you have a sense of healthy self-esteem or self-worth?

10. Are you being your authentic present self? (Rather than pretending.)

11. Are you becoming all that you can be? Are you on the path towards self-actualizing? (Rather than procrastinating.)

12. Are you beloving of all beings? (Do they experience their own beauty in your presence?)

Scores can be examined in terms of the Four Patterns mentioned above. For those interested in how these patterns are developed, see www.creei.org.

Ten CREEI Assumptions
1. Dreams are images from the heart that reflect waking life.
2. Dreams are personal metaphors, thus the dreamer is the ultimate interpretive authority.
3. The CREEI Process may be applied to any event, whether dreaming or waking.
4. Dream content need not be disclosed (a safety mechanism).
5. The CREEI process is non-interpretive.
6. The CREEI process is non-judgmental.
7. There is no such thing as a bad or meaningless dream.
8. All dreams are of equal value, whether fragmentary or lucid.
9. Dreams always contain new information.
10. Peace and joy exist (can be found) in any dream or event.

In further contemporary support of the importance of applied dream work, the Reverend Jeremy Taylor, author of When People Fly and Water Runs Uphill, has published his Ten Assumptions that are similar to those of the CREEI Process. Dream work is at the center of his highly effective ministry to prisons, troubled neighborhoods and community building. Here they are:

Jeremy Taylor's Ten Assumptions about Dreams (click to enlarge)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Recontacting Arnold Mindell

Original Post: Thursday, August 13, 2009
Latest Update:Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Arny & Amy Mindell
I first met Dr. Arnold Mindell in Los Angeles in the late 1960s during his visit from Zurich, where he was with the Jung Institute. This was well before he developed the now internationally celebrated discipline called Process Work. We discussed my coming to Switzerland to develop a collaboration, but that did not materialize.

After years of correspondence I eventually stopped over in Zurich to see him on my way back from Moscow in September 1973. The previous evening, just before departing Russia, I had written a poem which captured impressions of that long-anticipated first visit. Arny and his then wife Nora were the first to hear the poem the next day.

Forest Dream Remembered

My pilgrimage at last complete.
The mount is climbed.
Dark clouds once far above
Glide silently below.

To my surprise this peak is broad!
A castle’s built upon it,
And “...swords ‘to plowshares”
Near an ancient fortress
Makes me cry.

But so many here before me!
Some with words of virtue,
More with sounds of greed.
Do they dilute my quest?

Or is this not the place I seek?
Where golden tones
Once pierced my sleep?
Has she I met so long ago
not heard my song
Nor know I’ve come?

Such foolish youthful questions!
I return unto my own
To wait an outer answer,
And if my hope is true,
I’ll come again
Next time to inner chambers.


Moscow
23 Sep 73
(Op. 28)


After hearing the poem and as a memento, Nora gave me an 1899 Russian ten-ruble double-eagle gold coin

Recently, after many years of being out of contact with him since Zurich, I came upon Arny's 1985 book Working With the Dreambody, which had been hidden on a shelf in my library and which I was surprised not having read. That was immediately remedied by reading it aloud to Birgitta in the mornings on our deck and both of us becoming flooded by "aha's". I wrote a note of appreciation to Arny, who now lives with his partner and present wife Amy in Portland, Oregon, with an apology for not having read it earlier. He generously replied the same day:

Tuesday, August 18

Dear Eugene,

How wonderful to hear from you again! So heartwarming to feel you reading some of my work. Yes, I do know of Ken Wilber’s work, and that of Joseph Dillard. All good things to you and Birgitta and thanks for trying to bring worlds together…which is what I feel you do.

Big hug, love Arny


I had wondered in my note to Arny if he knew the writings of Ken Wilber and his Integral Institute as well as Joseph Dillard's Integral Deep Listening techniques and was gratified that he knows the work of both these remarkable men.

Birgitta and I have now just begun to read the Kindle version of Mindell's 2002 book The Deep Democracy of Open Forums: Practical Steps to Conflict Prevention and Resolution for the Family, Workplace, and World. The book's preface excited us and we thought at once of sharing it with many friends. But we were aghast at the price of this book on Amazon.com. Most puzzling of all is that there is not one published review! This will be remedied. See Arny's website here: http://www.aamindell.net/

August 20

Today I asked Arny if there were any worldwork people in our area. He replied within hours with the names of a couple moving to Santa Fe this winter.

Great to hear from you. No problem at all with your blog!
If you need worldwork help, Amy and I would come to Los Alamos: what are you developing there?

David B... and his partner and wife Lisa ... will be moving this winter to Sante Fe. They are great.

Big hug! From the middle of the world of eco-conflicts, racial tensions (U.S.) and religious problems in Southern Russia!

Love arny


I replied by describing our activities here in Los Alamos, but wondered if that was enough to bring him and wife Amy here. I also said I'd write to his friends. He replied the next day:

August 21

Dear Eugene, your life and work sound terrific. I don’t have time in the moment (because of conflict work in this country and around the world) to go into detail looking deeper into your wonderful background!! Your letter somehow reminds me that in 2011 we will be doing some large group conflict work between different religious viewpoints in Moscow.

Amazing connections.

We were invited by a group of LANL physicists (from a materials research group) in 2002 to come and teach aspects of my book, the Quantum Mind”

Enjoy David and Lisa.

And thanks to your spiritual path for who you are.

Big hug, sorry to be brief, love arny


Friday, August 21

Not expecting a quick reply from Arny this time, but anticipating future worldwork with him in Moscow or Kiev, I wrote:

Arny, I’m having a BIG Déjà vu in writing this response!

I appreciate your taking time to dash off a reply, given your rushed schedule. However, if you can manage to read the first chapter (not long) of the attached 1988 draft “CREEI Novel” you may recognize a name or two—especially Michael Murphy at Esalen. All names, dates and situations in this “novel” are real. It was written in this form to capture the flavor of events instead of as a journal account.

The 1973 “Letter to Soviet Ministry of Foreign Trade” was written at the American Embassy in Moscow, a week before writing the poem I shared with you and Nora in September 1973. It may have potential overlap to your upcoming conflict work in Moscow in 2011. Keep me in mind! (Maybe I can be there with you!?)

Today I received ten of your books, one of which is Quantum Mind. I’m eager to get into it. You know, of course, that my first job out of graduate school in 1963 was as a nuclear materials research scientist with General Atomic in La Jolla, California. So your LANL materials research group class got my attention! When you can, I’d like to know how that class turned out. Do you still have LANL contacts?

I have written to your friends.

Write again when you can catch your breath! Let’s keep in touch.

Love, Eugene


Saturday, August 22

Below is a preview of Mindell's magnum opus Quantum Mind:, published in 2000. The first page of the preface is compelling! I'm eager to write a review for the book. (Click on each image to enlarge.)







Tuesday, August 25

Arny replies:
Dear Eugene, I’ll always keep you “in mind!” big hug from Oregon, excuse brevity please, still with love arny


And Eugene replies again::

Arny!

Your “briefness” seems always to zero in on the salient point!!—not unlike what symbols do. I envy this talent.

Your not-so-brief book Quantum Mind is blowing mine!

It gives new language to integrate a long-term preoccupation with RPK [remote psychokinesis], which was first rooted in CR [consensus reality], but eventually sprouted surprising branches promising NCR [non consensus reality] fruit. [See: http://orthodoxodyssey.blogspot.com/2009/07/first-remote-pk-party.html]. It also gave new language for an equally long-term passion for dream work, which was initially rooted in NCR, but soon sprouted CR branches for mundane analysis. Both passions came from the same tap root in April-May 1965. [See: http://orthodoxodyssey.blogspot.com/2007/03/truth-by-reason-and-by-revelation.html]

When reading pages 22-24 of QM, I remembered sending you the attached mini essay by “Aryol Littet” [titled "Concept of Mass"] from an obscure, far-out publication called Starcraft in 1972. You were still in Zurich and I was in a southern Oregon forest with a flying saucer-obsessed English woman publisher, while building a laboratory to demonstrate RPK. Your reply to the essay was that I’d simply rediscovered relativity! And I was flummoxed…

Consider the attached poem [Trimass] as a deeper response to the first pages of QM, reflecting a continuing obsession with the idea of “mass,” which came from a dream the night after experiencing my astonishing first Catholic Mass in the late 1980s. The title Trimass refers to three meanings: that of physics; that of the Catholics and that of humanity, all of which echo a Forest Dream (of Big Sur in May 1967).

This is also echoed in a 1975 story Heart Planting, written for Lawrene’s and my then nine year old son Michael (now 42, a professional documentary film editor in NYC, who has banished his father from his life for the crimes of narcissism and schizophrenia).

I’m feeling pulled back to crazy days, my friend! And yet, even before reading your brief reply this morning, I had a dream about reformatting stacks of reels of filmed records, having enlisted the help of a young talented gay man. As he begins to work on the first reel, I see a beautiful web-like pattern emerge between his spread fingers.

Ah…and now I think of Orpheo, written shortly after Michael was conceived and his father became an amphibian quasi-shaman! Not long after this you and I first met in Los Angeles. And not long after that I received a treasured gold coin in Zurich!

Blessings! As always, I count on you forgiving this craziness.

Love, Eugene

PS. About Moscow in 2011, have you considered Kiev (Kyiv) instead?


Concept of Mass by Aryol Littet
(click on each page to enlarge)






Friday, September 4
This morning I sent the following note to Arny.

Arny!
BRIEF response to your first five chapters in Q-M: [Quantum Mind]

Whereas Heisenberg said: ∆x ● ∆p ≥ h-bar,
Kovalenko says ∆Σ ● ∆E ≈ K,
where Σ = experience, E = explanation and K = corollary constant.

Or, perhaps: ∆(CR) ● ∆(NCR) ≈ M, where M = Mindell's Kosmic corollary constant….


This afternoon Arny replied:

Kovalenko says ∆Σ ● ∆E ≈ K
And he is BRILLIANT!!!
Love arny


Sunday, September 27 email exchange...

From: Eugene Kovalenko [mailto:enk33@losalamos.com]
Sent: Sunday, September 27, 2009 6:48 AM
To: 'Arny Mindell'
Subject: Another brief response re QM thru chapt 12.

Hi Arny,

Consider this blog post as another brief response to Quantum Mind through Chapter 12: See http://orthodoxodyssey.blogspot.com/2009/09/interviewing-elephant.html

Hugs back,

Eugene


Sun 9/27/2009 1:39 PM Arny replies

Brilliant, love you arny



My note to Arny Mindell of October 7, 2009 at 4:44 PM:
Friend Arny,

Subject: Dissolving into and through an Edge!! Through QM chapter 22

Here is my process update report through QM Chapter 22: Hyperspaces.
In QM Chapter 19 you began to sound like teachings from some good old NCR Mormon stuff by its founder Joseph Smith! “As man is now, God once was; as God is now, man may become.” Heresy to most people two centuries ago and undoubted too narrow a view now, but pretty good for an unschooled guy in the 1830s. However, that last page in Chapter 22 was as clear and resonating as anything I’ve ever read! In sharing it with my local, shamanic 79-year-old Orthodox priest this morning, he lit right up!! THAT is where he and I both live!

Blessings, Eugene


On Wednesday, October 7, 10:05 PM Arny and wife Amy responded:
Dear Eugene,

Researching the patterns of the universe and connecting them with spiritual traditions everywhere is one of my greatest passions. Thanks for understanding and good luck in Los Alamos, arny also from amy

www.aamindell.net


On Friday, October 30, 2009, I wrote to Arny AND Amy...
Dear Arny and also Amy (finally!)

I have just finished QM chapter 22, where we meet again in NCR, not knowing who is who, but proud to claim you (both!) as me and hope you are equally proud to claim me as you!

If I had a mind like Ken Wilber I would have caught up with all your writings long ago. But, since I am (presently) me, an old guy, trying his best to be true to this Self and to you and to that VASTNESS that we are all united in, I’m plodding along at the Kosmic pace that is mine for now...

There is a growing intent in me to have you both come here again as soon as possible. Your friends David and Lisa are moving into the area next week, I understand. David wrote to me last month and I am much looking forward to meeting them in person. We will figure out together, I’m confident, how to get you both here again as soon as possible.

Amy, if you have time and interest, what can you see in my poem Trimass? I remember having Birgitta in mind as I wrote it back in 1987, not knowing if I would ever see her again (nor knowing that I would fly to Sweden to propose to and marry her in 1993!), but I can now see you in it too! Can you see the solar spectral musical scale created for Portland composer Eric Funk in summer 1972 who we commissioned to create something appropriate for the then up-coming Velikovsky Symposium? He created Stellar Evolution, which we recorded and had playing in the background as cosmological scholars from all over the world came into the symposium hall at Lewis and Clark College. This and the poem [Forest Dream Remembered] that I first read to Arny and Nora in September 1973 in Zurich, were inspired by a May 1967 dream that anticipated the 1967 commencement address by Arnold Toynbee the following June in Salt Lake City. Two years ago, one of my sons deeply steeped in CR came here for my birthday. I told him the story of Stellar Evolution, and he wondered if I had the recording. No, unfortunately, I didn’t. Had I kept track of the composer? No, unfortunately, I hadn’t. Could we find him on the internet? Wow! What an idea. So we did a Google search and discovered him in Wyoming, where he is a professor of music. I called and there he was! Not only that, he had just been talking to his students about that composition only days before! My CR son became a believer in NCR stuff!

Forgive the CR attachments,

With love and excitement!

Eugene

Attached: Trimass; ENK dream May 1967; Arnold Toynbee in Salt Lake City


Later that same day Arny and Amy replied:
Dear Eugene, we look forward to having time to enjoy your creativity in the next days! Busyville just now.
Love amy and arny


On Saturday, (Halloween!) 2009, I wrote:
Arny,

When you get a chance to look more closely at Trimass, multiply the key note (1) by a factor of 111, and you will get in bps the exact frequencies for the Solar Spectral Scale, where “yellow” (at 555 bps) is defined by the sodium doublet line in the solar spectrum. All other colors and musical tones then are in sync. I used the synesthesia (sp?) work of Soviet psychologist Luria to establish the connection between color and sound, who found a subject that saw “dense orange” at 500 bps. That gave the key to all other correlations. Composer Funk then used astronomers’ star charts to associate actual colors with musical frequencies and came up with a most mysterious and eerie composition, which was a perfect mood-setting sound for scholars to walk into before meeting and hearing Velikovsky speak. Using Luria’s one subject to represent the “mass of humanity” was an absurd assumption, of course, but when the resulting music was played at Lewis and Clark, one woman came up to me afterwards (who also had the condition of synestheisia) and reported the “right” colors when describing her responses to hearing the music. I had not told her anything about Luria’s work. I was excited by her report!

Love, Eugene


On Monday, November 2, 2009, Eugene wrote to correct his October 30 email.

Hey, Arny & Amy (damn, but that’s a tiny separation between the r and n in trying to read your names, guys. I’m sure it makes for more wondering about who is who! How often is one mistaken for the other?)

Correction on last email. QM “chapter 22” should be “chapter 37”. Moving right along! Like a turtle (all the way down!).

Love, Eugene

PS. Is there anywhere in your books where you address crop circles and flying saucers? I know Jung wrote a paper called Flying Saucers, a modern myth. Have you updated that?


On Wednesday, November 4, 2009, Arny + Amy wrote:
Dear Eugene, we now, amy and arny are very close ;), that’s true.

Crop circles and flying saucers? Not yet…that’s in the future…right now we are knee deep among the ecologists, love a+a


Then, later that same evening, Amy, herself, wrote:
Dear Eugene,

It’s good to meet you here online after hearing about you from arny. Thank you for that beautiful poem. The poem, and your amazing story about Eric Funk, certainly speak to me as I have been writing music recently that is related to the earth and stars as well. Lovely connection.

All the best to you. Love, amy


A few minutes later I wrote:

Dear Amy,

When can I hear your music?


Amy replied the next day:

Hi Eugene,

I am just an amateur songwriter but you can go to our website at http://www.aamindell.net/blog/music-and-art and look for “Music” on that page. There are a couple of pieces there. I also have done some very silly and some not-so-silly videos with music as well.

Take care. Love, amy


To which I replied at 8:30 PM Thursday

Dear Amy,

Wow, what a site!! I will take my time exploring it: looking, listening; seeing and hearing, and watching my responses. It looks like an adventure!

In the meantime, in the link below is a concert I gave to the Mormon women’s Relief Society of the Ventura, California stake (diocese) in March 1992 that might interest you. It was my last official presentation to the Mormon Church before being excommunicated two months later. This performance came within minutes of being suppressed by the main ecclesiastic leader, the stake president, who, unknown to me, had given out orders to the various wards (parishes) that I was not to be allowed to sing anywhere within the stake. Not long after the leader learned that this performance had taken place, he had the local bishop (priest) call every woman in attendance to warn them of how dangerous a person I was. I was aghast when I learned about it. Thankfully, Providence allowed the performance to take place and be recorded. After the first song, “Wayfaring Stranger”, a White Spiritual from the 1830s, you will hear the door creak open and my invitation to the bishop to come in. I did not know then that he’d been sent to monitor the performance in case I behaved “inappropriately” with the women. After the performance, he came up to me and gave me a tearful hug, not yet knowing he would be called later that night with savaging orders. He did not have the courage to trust his own experience and then stand up to the stake president. He carried out his grim orders. This is still the state of internal siege that the Mormon male priesthood establishment has fallen into.

See An Evening with Zhenya

Enjoy,

Love to you and Arny, Eugene


On Friday evening she replied yet again:

Hi Eugene,

Thanks for that link as well. I’m overbusy just now but when I get a breath, I’ll explore it and I’m glad you were able to give it considering that very painful story.

Take care, love, amy


Saturday, November 7, 2009, I wrote:
Dear a + a!

Apologies to your “overbusiness”.

I awoke this morning with an additional thought for you regarding that link. Then I will be quiet and let us catch our collective breaths.

Three years ago, I was contacted by one of the Mormon women (now an ex-Mormon) who had attended the “An Evening with Zhenya” concert that link mentions. This was 14 years later with no contact in between. She used to work for me in building my “CREEI Institute”, which is all about dream work and had come across my notes given out that evening and wanted my permission to use them in a commercial website she was launching. I was delighted to comply and also offer her the recording of that evening to go along with the notes. That was an unexpected bonus.

But she did one other thing that astounded me. She had looked up my dreams that were then posted on my family website (no longer active) and focused on one dream in particular that I was still struggling to understand so many years later. It is the only dream in which I dreamed I was a woman. See: Pivotal Dream. Although she knew from having worked with me back in 1992 that my process does NOT presume to interpret others’ dreams, she had awakened the morning she contacted me with an interpretation of that particular dream! Amazingly enough, her interpretation addressed my struggle and I had a huge “aha!” When I told Birgitta about this, she said she’d had the same interpretation ten years earlier when I’d first shared it with her, but didn’t bother to tell it to me since it seemed so obvious! Well, DUH! What a process!

Get some rest!

Love, Eugene


On Tuesday, November 10, 2009 10:00 PM, I wrote:

Arny,

Having just finished QM Chapter 41 and Note 8, I have just one comment before completing the book and writing my review for Amazon. See attached and note date, place and weather reports for the time.

Rainmaker

I’m nervous as I sit in front
the third chair from the isle.
The man who sits before me
now speaks but doesn’t smile.

“What is your journey here, sir,
before you are retired,
and make no joke about it
the word is more like fired!"

Startled I woke that New Year’s day
as the dream began to fade,
and three days later on the job
my back just up and gave!

Down flat in bed my body lay
retired by the pain
while outside great clouds gathered
and then began the rain.

As outer ragged darkness
sent torrents raging down
I dimly came to be aware
the Master was in town.

His inner light began to glow
in a school room way down deep
to show me what I’d failed to learn
long formal years asleep.

He came now as a rainmaker
from regions far away
where Nature’s master rhythm
is balanced night and day.

He took confusion on himself
influenced from without
and as the inner struggle grew
began to sort it out.

A rainmaker comes for inner work
chaotic states to feel
and restoring balance in himself
new harmony forms congeal.

* * *

"This is now my journey, Sir,”
I say back in the dream,
“to seek that place where rainmakers
can learn the craft they bring.

“I know it isn’t far beyond
for I can see the way;
the longer are the strides I take
the sooner arrival day.

“Even detours to the right or left
are harder now to take
as my journey speed increases
it’s less effort moving straight.

“So that is where I’m going now,
I hope you understand.
If not, that’s all right too, Sir,
but I’m moving to new land.

“I’ll return a later time then
when I’ve better learned my craft,
and if you’re here and still in need,
my work will make you laugh.

“If it isn’t fun to work here
anxiously building your careers,
why work to frantic sweat and toil
if you’re always in arrears?

“Send for yourselves a rainmaker
I know there’s one around
who’ll better help than I can give
when invited to your ground.”

A rainmaker comes for inner work
chaotic states to feel
and restoring balance in himself
new harmony forms congeal.

Los Angeles
Feb 78



Amy,

I’ve begun to navigate your site! Such versatility! All kinds of twists and turns and bits and provocations…. Each clip needs to be revisited many times and different times. What fun!

Love you both, Eugene


An hour later they wrote back:

Dear Eugene, I adore Rainmaker, thanks so much, love arny

Dear Eugene, it makes me feel so well that you like the site, thanks. I looked at your “concert” and was so moved….love the idea of “finding our home.” amy


On Thursday, November 12, I wrote:

Dear Arny and Amy,

Attached is my response to QM Chapter 42. Planetwork:The Sixth Extinction. The Defense of CAIN is an interactive play where ACT TWO is always different, a reflection of the audience. It considers the common root of the three major world religions (that make the most mischief).

I propose that we four: you and Amy, Birgitta and I, go to Islamabad to perform this play and involve the audience(s). In ACT ONE: Searching for a Just Court. I can be PROSECUTOR (if no one else wants it) as well as CAIN. You would be a great ADVOCATE SPIM (“some place in me”); and Amy would be a fine JUDGE; Birgitta, as resident shaman, is used to taking on any other role that comes to heart and mind for ACT TWO: The Great Human Family Round Table.

Note the dummy acts, ACT THREE and ACT FOUR. They are published in the hand-out program to give perspective.

The play was inspired by three dreams over a twelve year period, the first in 1966, in which I felt like Cain fleeing after being thrown out of the Mormon Church. First performance was in August 1978.

Love, Eugene

PS. Coming next is my overall Amazon review of QM.


Four hours later they responded:

We love the Islamabad idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!…are in the midst of interviews and helping with Copenhagen Eco decisions love to you both, big hug a+a


On November's Friday the Thirteenth, 2009, I wrote to include a review of Quantum Mind for Amazon.com:

My friend,

Quantum Mind has so impressed and fed me that I dare not express my enthusiasm with more words than these:

“Arnold Mindell's astonishing, visionary Quantum Mind is nothing less than the unified field theory that Einstein, Pauli, Feynman, Jung and others believed in, but failed to find before their deaths! It is not only this, but much, much more.”

Now moving on to your more recent books.

Love, Eugene


Later that afternoon, Arny wrote:

Dear Eugene, I am so totally grateful to you for your insights into the unified field theory and my quantum mind descriptions. Love you, big hug arny


On Saturday, November 28, I wrote to Arny re "Eco and Obama":

Do you have anything written about your on-going global warming and eco efforts vis-a-vis Obama’s recent visit to Copenhagen? Was his visit a waste of time?

A few hours later that same day Arny wrote:

Eugene
http://www.aamindell.net/blog/2009-news

just love you Eugene, big hug arny