The word “mystic” has classically meant “one who knows.” The Mystical Traveler is one who knows what that consciousness is and where it’s going. It is utilized and anchored through my body, but not necessarily IS it the body. It is a reference point here on the planet for that. It’s an energy source. The body is for other people’s consciousnesses. The Mystical Traveler Consciousness needs no reference point. It is truth — a pure absolute truth. And truth is not dependent on anything. It just is. – John-Roger
This Q&A with John-Roger was first published in the Movement Newspaper, October 1976
In 1976, John-Roger was interviewed on Innervisions, a radio program conducted by Jacob Blass in Santa Barbara, California. This is Part 1 of that Interview.
INNERVISIONS: You describe the consciousness under which you work as the Mystical Traveler Consciousness. Could you give us a definition of what that is and how it works?
J-R: That’s four years of answers right there, but let me see what I can do in “25 words or less.” The vocabulary approach to that which we call the Mystical Traveler is that as soon as we define the word “Mystical,” we’re halfway there. “Traveler” is one who moves, who travels physically, for instance. For the word “Mystical,” we could substitute words like “Spiritual” or “Light Traveler” and we’d be saying the same thing.
To speak in terms of Christ or God isn’t popular with many segments of society because it’s been so institutionalized through “churchianity.” Yet that concept is precisely what we are working with. People get hung up rapidly on words. (In fact, some people won’t let you in the door unless you have a college degree.) They want to know what it is you’re working with, so we give them this term, which happens to be very difficult to define.
The word “mystic” has classically meant “one who knows.” The Mystical Traveler is one who knows what that consciousness is and where it’s going. It is utilized and anchored through my body, but not necessarily IS it the body. It is a reference point here on the planet for that. It’s an energy source. The body is for other people’s consciousnesses. The Mystical Traveler Consciousness needs no reference point. It is truth — a pure absolute truth. And truth is not dependent on anything. It just is.
The difficulty I have down in this mundane level is to get the vocabulary words to match that essence of truth as much as they possibly can; and, believe me, that’s a full-time job. Because as soon as you open your mouth, you’ve inherited a lot of errors immediately. For example, the German people might not understand English; so there are errors there and we always have that gap in communication. But the Traveler Consciousness communicates in a force field called Spirit or Soul. There are very few errors in the spiritual communication in Spirit. But when we talk about the physical communication in Spirit, YOU have to check it out. YOU have to decide. It becomes beholden upon the other person to validate that experience.
IN: Does the experience of the communication take place on levels other than direct physical communication between you and whomever else you might be in contact with?
J-R: Oh, sure. I’ve been working consciously with people for, say, 10 or 15 years, and I may not see them for maybe a year from now. So, it’s not dependent upon the physical body to work with them, but there must be a body on every level that this Traveler Consciousness works through, and this is the physical. But it is less than one tenth of one per cent here in the physical.
IN: When you say that you anchor the consciousness here, does that mean that there’s a focus for this consciousness other than a physical body? I mean, I know when I am here that my focus is primarily my body and head. But if the consciousness wasn’t within your body, is there a place where it knows itself`?
J-R: It knows itself in truth, or we would say, “God.” It knows itself in God. I could forget a lot of things on this planet, but there is one thing I have never been able to forget, and it’s that I hold this consciousness of the Mystical Traveler. I never forget that. At night while we’re supposedly sleeping, I don’t. I know that.
IN: What are you doing?
J-R: I’m working in other realms of Light consciousness with people who are scientifically called “asleep.”
IN: Which is what?
J-R: Which is spiritual awakening in the other dimensions. The more we’re able to traverse these levels of consciousness, the more real the other dimensions become. It’s a trick, in one sense of the word, because you might ask if anybody could do it. Everybody IS doing it — not CAN they do it. They are! But they would say they had a dream or they were asleep. In this level, the monitors of our consciousness — the mind, the emotions, and the body — are quieted; and in this quietness we lose realization here, but we open to the body on the next level, which we might call the astral, causal, mental, or etheric body. By focusing our attention there, we become aware of that existence, and we can function consciously while there. Now, the big difficulty — and there’s always a catch — is how do you get the information back in this physical body to know that you’ve had these experiences? And the answer to that is … practice, practice, practice.
IN: Practice what?
J-R: Spiritual exercises that reach what are called “out of body” experiences — so that they don’t become accidental or haphazard in their approach, but rather become a methodology where you can say, “If I do these things — a, b, c, d — then e, f, g follow — not only as a natural course, but also as a form of energy.” It will just float over into it.
IN: How can we get more of a grasp on what you mean by “other levels of consciousness” and “other bodies,” if we haven’t directly experienced them?
J-R: Well, if you haven’t directly experienced it, there is no way that you can know it. But you can fantasize it, imagine it, mock it up, intellectually discuss it, run the presumption of existence — but you don’t KNOW until you’ve had the experience.
IN: It’s really hard to aspire towards something that one hasn’t had enough experience with. It’s a hell of a thing to make a commitment to something you don’t know anything about.
J-R: That’s true, and I wouldn’t advise someone to make that commitment based upon someone else’s experience. But make the commitment based upon your level of experience and experimentation of where you are. For example, if you said to me, “John-Roger, there’s a flying saucer outside in the parking lot,” I’d probably say, “Okay, that’s fine.” That’s your level of experience, but it doesn’t match mine. If somebody else came in and said, “There’s a strange object outside, but I don’t know whether it’s a flying saucer, flying teacup, or just a fork,” I would then get up and go look physically to validate it for myself. Once I saw it, if nobody else saw it, I couldn’t care less. I have seen something that I have called this, and that validates its existence. Labeling it “inner vision” or “outer vision” would depend on how many people see it. If a million see it and 50 million don’t, the 50 million — being the majority — would call the rest of them crazy and lock them up. I’m not sure they are crazy. This brings up the question, “Are there flying saucers?” And I say, people are seeing something, whatever term you want to call it. People ask, “Does it exist?” And it’s like, who’s to say what that level is? For those who have been in it, you’re darn right it exists. And for those who haven’t, you’re darn right it doesn’t.
IN: So, in other words, validate your own experience.
IN: You mentioned that a way for people to start getting tuned into those other levels is by doing spiritual exercises.
J-R: Sure. If we want to grow physically, in the sense of physical culture, we exercise, and we call that physical exercise. We gain strength by doing this. There are a lot of playback signals that say to us, “Yes, you’re developing.” We can lift greater weights, we can endure longer, we can work longer during the day. Then we have emotional growth, where we say, “How do I know I’m growing emotionally? What weights do I lift?” Well, last year when somebody called you a certain name, you’d freak out and jump at them; and today they call you the same thing, and you laugh and smile at them. We say you’ve been growing, you’ve been doing things that have built emotional strength within you. And then we build mental strength. This process is often called education, where we learn the discipline of the mind and we can call the mind forward: two times two is four.
Then we come to spiritual things; there are spiritual qualities that we use to strengthen. One of these is understanding. Often we don’t understand in the midst of situations; but when they’re through, we say, “Oh, NOW I understand.” What part of you understands? And where did you get the understanding? We say, “Well, I just did.” You got it from that which we have defined as Spirit or Soul or awareness or consciousness. We’re not going to hang up on the word, that’s for sure.
And there are techniques, like chanting tones, that are tied to the levels of Spirit awakening within us. By doing this, we gain strength of spirit. Often people think we gain strength of spirit by facing an adversary here in this world, like the “devil.” I don’t think that’s gaining spiritual strength as much as it is delineating the parameters in which the “devil” functions, so that we can place the devil in a holding action. But to gain strength means we go into Spirit, to reside there in a greater consciousness that exists while we’re here on this level. Spiritual people are not wingdings. Often, fanatics are. But spiritual people are really not fanatical or rebellious in society. You may live next door to them and not even know they’re spiritual.
Spirituality is not necessarily holding your hands in a certain way, kneeling in prayer or sitting in a yoga posture. Those are just positions. Spirituality is knowing God and living to that high degree within yourself that we call integrity. When we start living the integrity, the character develops and expresses through our personality. When we see a person doing good and helping others, we look upon that characteristic as being favorable because of service. We’re not dealing in terms of morality because that’s usually seasonal or legislative or geographically located. But no matter where you go, you should maintain your own integrity; and that should be a symptom, a sign, of spiritual energy or spirituality.
IN: You mentioned the chanting of certain spiritual tones. A lot of people are familiar with the “OM” or the “HU” chants. What’s the connection between chanting those tones and elevating the consciousness?
J-R: Biblical statements say, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he becomes.” We’re saying that because man is a creator, where you focus your attention is where you’ll go in consciousness. Chanting tones that have the vibration of God focus upon the form of God in the formless, and they start awakening us more and more to that formless form that we find in everybody. Some people don’t believe it, and I say, “Well, their God’s a little too small.”
IN: What do you mean, the tone carries the vibration of God?
J-R: How does it work in terms of each individual?
IN: Well, maybe, how does it work in terms of the connection of that vibration of God with the person’s consciousness? How does the sound connect the person’s consciousness to God?
J-R: It isn’t necessarily the sound, it’s the vibration that the sound ushers forth. I think it’s pretty well established scientifically that everything is in a state of vibration to some degree. A rock may not be vibrating as fast as a physical body, and the physical body may not be vibrating as fast as thought, and the thought may not be vibrating as fast as the Spirit. But by doing things physically, we can tie it to a physical vibration, like running. By thinking we can tie into thought patterns. That’s why two people start talking about the same thing, and they’ll say, “I was just thinking about that when you talked about it.” Well, the vibrations are tied in together by way of thought.
We can use that, then, to signal Spirit that we’re receptive of a greater influx of energy by calling forward these vibrations or mantras — whatever term you want to call it. But that isn’t what we’re doing. Not totally. Sure, we’re involved with getting the energy here, but we’re more involved in Soul travel — moving the consciousness from the awareness of this world, mind, emotions, and body, back into the Soul, that center. From there, to exteriorize that center out of the body into the invisible realms that we call spiritual, and travel individually or in groups with other people. The great fun is that you’ll come back from this dream or fantasy or sleep state or whatever you want to call it, and phone somebody, and say, “You know, I had a strange dream about you.” All of a sudden, you find out that they were in the dream, but on the other edge of the crowd looking back at the building you were standing in front of. They’ll say, “Well, there was this big green building.” You say, “I was standing right in front of that building, but I didn’t know how tall it was because I didn’t look up; but over to the right of it was a stream.” They’ll say, “Oh, yeah, and there were trees there.” Someone not involved might ask what you crazy people are talking about. You’re talking about an experience that you’re now validating. And as crazy as it might seem, it happened. Too many people want to deny the experience. Don’t deny it — validate it, then do with it what you please.
IN: How does one distinguish between dreams where experiences really happen, as opposed to regular weird dreams that people have?
J-R: Why would you want to differentiate?
IN: Well, I don’t know. If I had a spiritual experience…
J-R: You’d like to know it. Oh, in other words, it’s an ego trip. There’s nothing wrong with ego trips, by the way. You know, it’s really too bad in a sense that the whole thing was defined as ego by Freud and then was combined with the negative connotations of the word “trip.” There’s nothing wrong with ego-tripping. I’m not saying that in a condescending way. It’s like, “Yeah, it’s an ego trip. I’d like to know.”
So you ask yourself, “What am I going to do with this information one way or another?” Is it spiritual, meaning dealing in Spirit, or is it spiritual, dealing back here in the physical? If the dream is a spiritual dream dealing with the spiritual or the invisible, there’s not too much you can do about it. It’s like, “Okay, pass,” because you’re not there now. If the dream was what we call a premonition or omen dream, a spiritual dream about the physical world, and you had it down pretty exactly, start checking it out. What did the dream tell you? If it said to go to the freeway and look for a little yellow car, I’d check it out. After you find the little yellow car and see that there’s a person in it who has something special for you, go up to the person and say, “Hi, how’s it going?” Try to be casual and cool about it. He might say, “I’ve been waiting for you. Here’s the special thing.” Now you’ve checked the information out. If you went down there and waited all day long and saw no little yellow car, nothing much is lost. You could have had a book with you to study or you could have listened to the radio, chanted mantras, but I wouldn’t call the whole town down to look at the little yellow car until I knew it was going to appear.
IN: Is there any way that people can program in spiritual techniques before they go to sleep, or clear their consciousness so that higher frequencies come in?
J-R: That would be spiritual exercises, absolutely. And we’ve been talking for years in seminars about many ways to handle this world – -the physical world, the mind, emotions and body — to get the karma off your back until you feel a certain level of freedom to be receptive to a higher type of thought pattern or spiritual frequency. If we’re being distracted by the world, we often dream about this, trying to solve the problem; and this takes up a great deal of time for most people. Often their spiritual dreams are the ones they don’t remember. They think they’ve slept like a log, but on the spiritual level, they were having experiences. Much of the “new age” information in certain magazines relates these experiences. People laugh and ask me if I believe it, and I reply that it’s not a matter of belief. It doesn’t matter one way or another if I believe it or disbelieve it. That was the experience. And they say, “Is it true or false?” But we’re not even dealing in that.
IN: I guess it’s so hard to deal in words and terms, particularly in Western society, because we’re so programmed to believe in, “Is it true or not true? Does it make sense, does it not make sense?”
J-R: Now, that makes more sense to me — “Does it make sense or not make sense?” — rather than labeling it true or false.
IN: I hardly know of anything in my life lately that’s making sense.
J-R: That doesn’t mean that things aren’t going along okay. You may be at a time in your life when anybody else in that same pattern wouldn’t be able to make sense out of it either, because that’s the pattern they’re going through. So if you went to someone else for counseling, they’d say, “It doesn’t make sense.” You’re in a “not-making-sense” situation. Often we call that education, like, “What am I doing here and why am I learning all this stuff? What am I getting out of it? It doesn’t make sense.” Often it doesn’t, not until you get out. Then the reason why you learned all that may make sense.
IN: As you said, this world doesn’t make too much sense, and one of the questions that I’ve always wondered about is the general state of chaos that’s always present in the world. If we are spiritual beings, why is there so much lousy stuff going on? What’s the connection between spirituality and everybody’s suffering?
J-R: Well, suffering is pretty much somebody’s subjective point of view of being deprived of something, and why they’re being deprived. And this is based largely upon a level of needs, want, or desires. If we look upon everybody as being spiritual, that would mean that each of us is a creator, and we are responsible for our creation. A lot of the chaos that we’re going through is part of our own creation. But that is not necessarily bad, because if we are here to become aware of this level of God’s body in the midst of this chaos, confusion, and suffering, it may be that this part of God’s body is having a bowel movement. Now such as that may be, it’s very necessary for the rest of God’s body to maintain an equilibrium. So, the way to look at this is that these things are going on in diverse patterns. But even in this diversity, there is a unifying process. And the unifying process is what we come to.
But how would we come to a unity of God unless we experienced a lot of the things we call suffering and work? And often our suffering turns us towards greater levels of behavior and understanding. If you had your finger caught in a door and had it slammed on, you suffered that pain. When somebody else does it, you immediately have an understanding with them that transcends everything. It’s an immediate knowing, and you may be able to assist them by saying, “Gee, put some ice on it immediately and it’ll help it,” or whatever you found that works. Or you may say, “The only thing to do is yell and scream and run around holding your hand because that’s the type of situation it is. You have a right to do it, and we won’t let people carry you away as ‘crazy’ until your finger feels better.”
IN: I can understand that on an individual level, but what about an individual level of suffering as opposed to sociologically imposed levels of suffering, like dictatorships or governments that breed oppressive situations.
J-R: Are you saying, “Which way should I respond — to the individual or society?”
IN: Well, I wonder how one responds to an oppressive society or certain aspects of society that are oppressive and still maintains his own individual or spiritual equilibrium?
J-R: Well, to me, that’s very easy to do because I maintain the physical body here, walking through this world that I would call oppressive, while I live in Spirit, which I would call freedom; and all I do is keep bringing the freedom into this level everywhere I find it. It’s becoming contagious! There are thousands of people who are studying with the Traveler who are saying, “In this freedom and love you’re bringing forward — even though the situation hasn’t cleared and it’s still a garbage pile — I now realize it’s compost. I just let a lot of things grow and use them to a great advantage.”
We’re saying, “Well, then, suffering is primarily a process of attitude.” When I was visiting some of the ashrams in India, I saw that many Indians didn’t have nice clothing like ours. It was obvious that they weren’t educated. But they were able to sit on hard cement for eight, nine, ten hours without moving, and I couldn’t sit there for 45 minutes without feeling like my bones were going through the cement. Now, who’s really deprived and who’s suffering, them or me? It was obvious that I was really suffering physically, but at the same time, I realized that I couldn’t look down my nose at them for being deprived of anything when they were able to outlast me in a spiritual ashram. So, I just took that as a challenge and pulled my energy away from focusing on my disease, or on sitting, and focused upon the spiritual part of me. Then I put in plenty of hours and it didn’t bother me, and I was able to get up and walk away.
So it was where I was focusing my attention and what I was doing with it that was determining my suffering. As soon as I got above that, I was no longer suffering. I wasn’t aware of the body and its pain. When I focused upon it, I was making it more and more painful. Of course, the other recourse would have been to get up and walk away, but I didn’t go there just to get up and walk away. So, I endured to the end. But believe me, I was glad when the end appeared. The next day, I didn’t do the same thing; I was more wise. I decided I didn’t have to sit up front; I’d sit way in the back so I could get up and walk around if I felt like it. So, in a way, I was sacrificing “up-front” closeness for inner awareness of the calmness; so I moved back out of the way.