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(left to right) Leigh Taylor-Young Morton, Unity tour guide, Nicole Campbell, Diane Botticelli, Phillip Barr, John Morton, Kate Ferrick-Klein, Richard Klein, Jsu Garcia at Unity Village in Jackson County, Missouri, August 2022

A Journey with the Traveler to the Middle of America — Both Horizontally and Vertically

“Where do you find God? Someplace in your middle. And where do I find God? Someplace in my middle. So if I’ve got God in my middle, I’ve got your middle in my middle. And there’s no separation.” —John-Roger, The Ultimate Sacrifice

Traveling in the physical world with the Traveler is a very intense inner journey for me. The best way to describe it is that it’s a vacation from my karma. There is normally a certain amount of friction in daily life—the friction of the two tectonic plates of my existence: my personality/desires/resistances and the frictionless, blissful plate of my spirit. In the bubble of the Traveler energy there is a cessation of that friction. In that state it’s difficult to maintain any kind of concern with the physical, emotional and mental levels, and the fact that I’ve learned to do photography in these extremely challenging/unchallenging weightless and frictionless conditions is something of a miracle. I once described living at Prana as “the next best thing to being dead,” and that applies to life in the Traveler bubble as well.

And now someone has asked me to write something about a trip that happened a million years ago (actually about 10 days ago) which I experienced from high up in another dimension, and during which I was in a state of minimal awareness of the physical/emotional/mental world. I can only give you some impressions of what I remember from miles above ground.

I flew into Wichita, Kansas with Jsu and Nicole. Our rental car smelled like cigarette smoke so we asked for a different one, which turned out to be a white pickup truck, a suitable conveyance for the terrain, and we listened to country music and “The Wichita Lineman” by Glen Campbell in order to acclimate. We got to the hotel in the middle of the green flatness of the middle of America, met John and Leigh and others on the trip, and went to “sleep” which in these sorts of circumstances is more like a combination of SE’s and seemingly unlimited physical/psychic energy, which makes sleep something between difficult and unnecessary.

The next day we drove through the blinding summer heat, and went down 650 feet into a hole—a salt mine (still active) that’s also used for archiving and storage. It’s where we’re storing a set of the J-R and John recordings for posterity. Lots of other organizations use it for storage, including large corporations and what seems like all of Hollywood—reels and reels of movies on thousands of feet of shelving. Every movie you could think of seemed to be down there, and we read the names on the film canisters like archaeologists in a cave deciphering the names of all the gods of an ancient civilization. The air seemed surprisingly fresh and benign (from the salt and minerals?) and there were miles of tunnels which required an extended golf-cart thingy, like they use in airports, to get around in. The walls were salt crystals like dirtier, more two-dimensional white quartz crystals; there were also salt crystals strewn on the ground; and conveyor belts carrying the salt (which would be used for rock salt on highways in the above-ground world) that whizzed past us as we drove through the tunnels.

Our guide was the CEO of the mine, a kind man with unusually bright, smiling eyes and midwestern American humility and practicality. He was like the keeper of the ancient scriptures in some pyramid or sepulcher in a bygone era, but in modern clothing and a hard hat. I asked him if anyone stored anything down there in clay pots and it got a laugh. After an hour or so touring through darkness punctuated by small lit areas with functioning (new) or non-functioning (old) mining equipment, rows of boxes and film canisters, rooms upon corridors upon rooms of the unnameable and uncountable detritus of our overly fertile civilization, he unlocked a small room enclosed by corrugated metal that contained 60-or-so years of J-R/John recordings. (How did he know which tunnels and corridors to go through in order to find that room? How many years, or lifetimes, had he navigated those, or similar, corridors?)

John did a blessing amid the cardboard boxes in our little room, we did some more touring of displays of old mining equipment, maps of the underworld labyrinth, tables of salt crystals the size of your head, glass cases of old Hollywood costumes, and even a wax dummy of The Agent from “The Matrix” in a wooden packing crate that looked like a coffin—and of course the inevitable gift shop, which you’ve got to have, even in Hades.

Back up 650 feet into the heat and humidity, lunch in an Amish restaurant that combined the worst of all possible worlds— pre-industrial simplicity and post-industrial ingredients—and then a gorgeous 3-hour drive to Kansas City, MO, across golden fields in an orange sunset. We arrived after nightfall at the historic Hotel Kansas City, dating from the 1920’s and still retaining the innocence and exuberance of that era. There was loud music coming from the bar, and a laughing, frolicsome receptionist who seemed to be welcoming us to a party rather than to a hotel. Jung said that culturally and psychologically Americans are 1/3 European, 1/3 African, and 1/3 Native American, and I’ve found that the different areas of America are energetically clear and enjoyable to the extent that those three parts of our psyche are in balance and working in harmony. I noticed as soon as I arrived that Kansas City had a good balance. Dinner that night was in a cavernous and wild party place with multiple screens playing multiple music videos, like any similar LA restaurant/bar but with a more carefree and less self-conscious clientele.

The next day we drove to a tour of Unity, a spiritual organization deriving from that period of American history that includes Transcendentalism, Christian Science, Theosophy, etc. Portraits of earnest, sober midwesterners in starchy clothes looking down from the walls….the beginnings of American spirituality…the pioneers on whose shoulders we stand, who forged the new JerUSAlem in a wide-open land with nothing to go on but the adumbrations of a Christ that everyone remembers differently and that no one can mold or define. That era prepared a hole large enough for the polymorphous and undefinable J-R to slip through and take the next part of the journey west from the coal mines of Utah and into Hollywood, whose remnants have now returned full-circle in their canisters to mines in the middle of the country where they can, we hope, be protected from the Bomb or other mishaps—maybe to be unearthed and watched by an upcoming civilization, or maybe just fossilized like the shells we now find under the Kansas ground, reminders of the sea that used to be there. Lovely people are in charge now at Unity, kindred spirits whose loving and dedication are palpable. Beautiful grounds with fountains and gardens. We and our Unity tour guides laughed and played together like old friends. Children with faces (remember those?) also played outside on the lawn.

The last day was a visit to the Truman library, the next step from a new beginning (the probity and forward-looking zeal of late 19th/early 20th century American spirituality at Unity), to the “end” (the period of the Bomb and the birth of the Monster, at the Truman library). Very well-done historical displays—engaging, multi-media, and not at all hagiographic. Questions like “Was he really prepared to be President?” and  “Should he have dropped the Bomb?” were not avoided. It was a very American sans-tomb, above-ground tribute to one of its ordinary, everyman pharaohs, a tour through the founding of the institutions of postwar, post-industrial America whose shell we still inhabit, like those sea creatures that adopt the shells of the larger and stronger species that have passed on. For the first time on the trip we had to wear masks, but I was able to wear my gaiter with the dog-face printed on it and holes cut for the nostrils and mouth that enable me to breathe freely and which no one (except John) has noticed in stores or public places since March, 2020. This is still America, after all, and our ingenuity is our collateral for the contract that delineates very clearly the boundaries of the monster’s domain.

The next day was a flight back to LA, and for the following couple of days the physical portion of the trip was removed but the spiritual portion remained active, and I was mostly out of the body, alternately sleeping and doing SE’s, for a couple of days. Truly, the next best thing to being dead—but above-ground.

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4 thoughts on “A Journey with the Traveler to the Middle of America — Both Horizontally and Vertically”

  1. Thanks, Dear David, for your “Journey with The Traveler….!
    I laughed out loud in loving appreciation for you, your story and your photos.

    Jan Rovecamp

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