Nayaz, an interpretation

–Shamcher Bryn Beorse

You stop, think, feel after that first word. Who is beloved? By whom? Without waiting for any answer yet, you let this one first word float enticingly in space and inside you, embracing you, bit by bit assuring you that every atom component of your body, of your surroundings, is beloved and loving; also the tiny thought components of your mind, feeling components of your heart. So your morning is new, your whole day is new and fresh, lovely and beloved! Cascades of fluid love course through your veins, circulate through your nerves, make you new and whole and incomparable and interlocked and interjoyed with all; with your friends and so-called enemies; with the whole.

And who is so compassionately loving all these atom components and thought and feeling components and friends, enemies and stars?

That lover must be whoever or whatever created all these things and beings, for why, otherwise, would It have taken on this gigantic task?

Who is this creating giant? Looking deeply into myself, could I possibly be involved? Being both creature and creator? And what shall we call It? The second word of the prayer suggests:

It is a much used word for this sort of thing and, perhaps, it is a good idea to use familiar words — and let any new aspect we want to introduce be expressed by associations and environment. For example, the word LORD alone may be a bit scary like a servant would feel toward a rude and abrupt lord and master. But after our loving introduction in which we identify with this new Lord, he has taken on the close and dear look of one who is already part of us, closer than a brother, sister, or lover.

Come the third and fourth words.

If those two words had come first, there would have been a distance; cool, possibly insurmountable! We made the acquaintanceship the right way through a lovely being and beloved Lord whom, we now find, is the very same as the Almighty God, whom we did not know before because we had kept Him on a pedestal, high and dry and remote! Now we begin to suspect we ourselves are part of Him and He of us.

That mighty sun! Hot, beyond imagination, but its heat diffused so we can enjoy it and benefit from it — what a magnificent sign and symbol of the mighty Creator! So, also, thought many of the old-timers, who by scholars are now classified as “sun-worshippers” — a term encompassing a greater variety of wisdom, knowledge and maturity than our encyclopedia convey. In this morning prayer our magnificent sun becomes creature, creator — and self.

The air is what we find around the earth. It belongs to Earth, clothes earth in an evanescent veil which diffuses the sun rays, protects us and Earth from their stings and lets through what we need. The whole Earth is a sun dependency and the Earth is us and we are the Earth — more so than is often understood. More mighty suns and more dependent planets with vast spaces between them form the universe. The following words of the prayer are,

Yes, LIFE pervades all space and that life is creature and Creator. It created us and so we ask “through the rays of the sun, through the waves of the air, through the all-pervading LIFE in space, purify and revivify us and heal our bodies, hearts and souls…”
Even though we are in and of that LIFE, one with it; yet, at this point in the prayer we dualize ourselves and think of that LIFE IN SPACE as coming to us (even though we are it) and purify, revivify and heal us. It sometimes is a little easier to think of it that way. In fact, it is so much easier that most religions and their sects today think only in dual terms and have forgotten the next essential step for each one as he is ready — the step to THE ONE of which each of us is a part and, potentially, the whole.

Through this morning prayer that vital step has been brought back into use. From the first whispered “beloved”, one surrenders oneself to the creative forces and, in response, a flow of new, fresh life pours into you and “heals our bodies hearts and souls.” You know and feel that you are a new and whole man or woman.

(This commentary first appeared in Rainbow Bridge magazine, 1989.)

NAYAZ, revisited

(An inspired variation that came to Shamcher)

Beloved One,
Who plays in the rays of the Sun and through the waves of the air,
I see you
and I feel you
in Nature, in others, and in myself.

From The Future is Ours

CHAPTER VII: pg.124-138
by Brynjolf Bjorset (Bryn Beorse)
Meador Publishing Co., Boston, c.1948


This chapter does not contain a necessary ingredient of our generally outlined monetary policy. It could have been omitted altogether without any loss to the general picture, But the clearing method explained in this chapter could become a very useful supplement to a scientific money structure; or, it could be used as an alternative solution. A special reason for explaining this procedure, is that it demonstrates in a very simple way the nature and character of “money” and how money can be and has been created “out of nothing,” though founded on the solid basis of production and productive capacity.

Since the clearing method as explained in this chapter will be linked with a federal works program, a few words about the desirability of such a program may be in order. According to the Gallup Poll, eighty-four per cent of the American people believed in September, 1945, that the United States would have jobs for all for the next five years. They believed in a postwar boom with ample supply of all the good things this country can produce. So far, nothing has happened which could seriously challenge this belief. So, why think about any federal emergency work scheme?

After the last postwar boom followed the greatest depression in our history –but it did not materialize until eleven years after the cessation of hostilities. It started after the large demand created by war savings had been exhausted. and people found themselves “without money.”

There were many reasons other than exhausted war savings for the scarcity of money, as we have seen in previous chapters.

Do we know that the same thing will happen some years after the end of this second world war? Of course we don’t, but if we do not prepare for such an eventuality, it is hard to see how we could deserve any better fate. Depressions have some kind of paralyzing effect. They make us forget the wonderful things we were planning to do before the catastrophe overtook us. Somehow we close our minds and hide, with timid sobs, Even if we try our hand at emergency works, we seem unable to think up anything useful or anything big enough to do the trick, So public works have become synonymous with hanging over a shovel. Obviously we must plan now, during the prosperous times, while our minds are still in good working order. All business men plan and prepare. To coordinate cooperatively all this planning is the climax of private enterprise. If this be not done, planning will be done and enforced by powers outside of business and hostile to it, which is called totalitarianism.

Those who have tried planning business and works on a national scale have soon found that there is no limit to useful and even essential jobs to be done. New designs and gadgets in car manufacturing are even now waiting for hands to shape them in steel. Houses are needed for five million people. Scientists are raring to go ahead on a thousand and one schemes, requiring unskilled labor as well as experts. Education awaits its crusaders. Highways, slum clearance and power projects are screaming for the combined initiative of business and government. As we get going, we will soon discover the need for setting up a priority list, a list of which jobs are most urgent, and which can wait. As far as menial work is concerned, we could keep all hands busy for a thousand years.

Now we can proceed to the financing of such a works scheme.

In ancient Babylon, according to “Handbuch der Finanzwissenschaft” and recent excavations, there existed side by side with private banking houses large government stores to which farmers brought their goods and were credited with the value of these unsold goods. With these credits they bought what they needed and the business men from whom they bought used the same credits to buy supplies for their stores. By this procedure the farmers or business men had not taken away from anyone the use of either his money or credit. The government had simply monetized the farmer’s products so he could use their value for exchange of goods before they had been finally sold. Consequently, there were no regular interest rates involved, nor regular installments of repayment. The “cost” of the credit was the bookkeeping expenses and the “debt” was paid as goods were sold. This method, known as “clearing,” has been used later by many banks and other institutions, and was often surrounded with some secrecy, because the method was so profitable that the operators wanted to keep it to themselves.

Finland’s former ambassador to France, Erik Ehrstrom. was a good friend of the owner and president of the French Bank “Comptoir Central de Credit,” which runs such a clearing service, and was devoted entirely to clearing transactions when it was founded, under the name of “Banque Bonnard,” in 1849, by the grandfather of the present owner. Mr. Ehrstrom returned to Finland in 1936 with the purpose of establishing similar institutions throughout the Scandinavian countries. He, and his cause, were introduced to the writer by an enthusiastic New York business executive, who took time off to be a very active godfather to these enterprises, which may thus be considered as much an American as a Scandinavian venture. The New Yorker wants to remain anonymous. Mr. Ehrstrom writes about “Banque Bonnard”:

“The first clearing banks, from which our present bank and credit system has developed, greatly assisted commerce in that they permitted of settlements on the security of deposits. A number of institutions have, however, gone still further. They have allowed settlements purely on the security of values in the form of goods and services available, without the safeguard of actual deposits.

“A typical example is the Banque Bonnard, opened after the depression in France in 1849, with headquarters in Marseilles and branch offices in Paris and Lyon. This firm served as a kind of exchange or centre of barter where producers, wholesalers, merchants and wage earners of every description could meet for the direct exchange of goods and services. The bank issued “credit notes” by means of which the interested parties were able to exchange their goods and services of a scale which far surpassed what would be done at that time through ordinary commercial channels. This bank enjoyed such great confidence that, on the average, it refused daily four times as much business as it was able to undertake. During its first three years of trading, the Paris office of the firm undertook commissions worth 127 million francs (an equivalent of 635 million francs in 1935) practically without the use of currency and without incurring a single loss, A catalogue from 1857 of the purveyors enrolled, occupies sixty-four pages, It seems to be generally accepted that this bank actually did promote new trade, and did not merely deprive its orthodox competitors of a certain portion of their business. Financial periodicals and other publications refer to this special bank with great sympathy and goodwill. The firm was still extant at a visit to Paris by the author in 1935 and was managed by the founder’s grandson. Apart from its bartering activities, the bank was then dealing with ordinary business.”

In 1936 a “Nordic Clearing Association” was formed, with the purpose of establishing clearing banks similar to Banque Bonnard in the four Scandinavian countries. The association had representatives from Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway, and Erik Ehrstrom was elected president. By the end of 1936 the association bore its first fruit, “Norsk Girokredittforening” (Norwegian Giro-credit association) which started operations in Norway, with headquarters in Oslo, and of which the writer was the first general manager.

This Norwegian venture was stopped by the Nazi invasion just when it was about to be expanded to serve a nationally important purpose, so it can hardly be called successful. During its first years it went through other hardships. But I describe this institution because I know it well, and because we may be able to benefit as much by its weaknesses as by its strong points. After a discussion of this undertaking, we shall explain how a similar organization could be formed in the United States for financing the proposed works plan.

The ground was prepared for this kind of undertaking in Norway. Before bank loans became the usual method of financing farming, Norwegian farmers used to build houses or barns or buy equipment by a kind of voluntary mutual aid. The farmers of a certain village would come together and agree on a works plan. They might find that Ola Hansen needed a new barn first, and next Per Olsen would need a shed for his goats. Then all the farmers would give all their spare time and equipment to help build Ola Hansen’s barn first. When that was finished they would take on Per Olsen’s shed and so on down the line. There weren’t many foreclosures in those days for nobody had involved himself in unpayable debts. They had borrowed working hours and the use of equipment from each other by means of the simplest possible form of a clearing organization. In 1934, Professor Ragnar Frisch of the Oslo University drew up a plan for a national clearing organization virtually on the same basis as the old arrangement among Norwegian farmers. The purpose of the Frisch clearing organization was the recovery of trade and employment by clearing products and services on the basis of yearly compiled estimates of supply and demand. This plan was published in the American periodical “Econometrica,” of which Professor Frisch was one of the founders.

While the Norwegian Government was considering the Frisch plan, the “Norsk Girokredittforening” started operations on a small scale by the end of 1936 and a government representative, Mr. Jorgen Dahl, was appointed on its Board of Directors, with the understanding that taxes and public finances should gradually be included in the operations. Other members of the board were Mr. Olaf Dahl, Oslo attorney; President and Chairman of the Board; Mr. Eivind Eckbo, attorney and financier, Vice President; Mr. Finn Jacobsen, coal merchant; Mr. H. Oppegaard, electrical appliances; Mr. Rolf Stenersen, broker and banker; and the writer. The organization started with about a hundred members, growing slowly to a few thousand in a couple of years. Among the original members were some of the largest Oslo firms as well as smaller firms and a number of newcomers in the business field, who left the ranks of the unemployed to become employers themselves.

Each member applied for and was granted a certain “credit” on the books of the clearing association. This meant that they were allowed to buy the products or services of other members up to the amount of the credit–and were likewise obliged to sell up to that amount. The credits could not be cashed, only used for buying from other members by means of a special checkbook. The “check” was nothing more than an order to the bookkeeping office to transfer a given amount from the buyer’s account to the seller’s account.

One day, for example, a dentist came to the clearing center, saying that he had out-of-town patients he could reach if he had a car, but that he could not afford to buy a car and have it financed in the usual way, nor could he say for sure that he would be able to meet strict monthly payments.

After investigating his record the clearing board granted him a “clearing credit” for the amount of the price of the car, and as security held a claim against his dental equipment until such time as he should have paid for the car by dental work.

The dentist paid Colberg and Caspary, car dealers, with a clearing check for the whole amount. Thereby he was cleared with the dealer and had no further business with him. On the same day the dealer bought paint and hardware from two other member firms, for more than the amount received from the dentist. The hardware store and the paint store likewise bought and sold in greater amounts than the cost of the car, without even knowing that a car had been sold to a dentist. They had no financial worries in the matter.

The dentist had his car, but as nobody had lent him the money there was no question of interest or regular monthly payments. When his patients paid him for dental work they paid in clearing checks which were credited to his account. He “paid as he earned,” and after two years the car was paid for. But in the meantime nobody had given up any money or assets to finance the car for him. In a way he owed a debt to the whole clearing association as long as the car was not paid for. But nobody felt the burden of giving up his money, and consequently the dentist did not feel the burden of a borrower, although he enjoyed the advantages of one.

Similarly, a builder, who had a new and efficient method of building, approached the clearing office with the idea of importing steel pipe from Belgium for his business. He bought the pipe from a Norwegian hardware firm which was a member of the clearing association. The hardware firm bought the pipe from Belgium, paid in hard cash and used the clearing account obtained through this deal for purchases at home, from other clearing members.

Since the builder had such a good method, one may ask why he could not have gotten an ordinary bank loan. He might have been able to get it in due time, after having approached men of means who would endorse this loan. But in that case he could not have postponed his first installment of repayment indefinitely until he would have begun to earn from his new work. However accommodating the bank would be, it has to fix a date as it is handling cash money belonging to depositors. The clearing association does not handle depositors’ money, but the ability of its members to deliver. Thus no fixed time limits are strictly necessary, Also, the clearing association has no depositors’ interest to pay and so can grant “loans” on cheaper terms.

The clearing office was financed through a cut of one per cent on each check, the surplus over office expenses and reserve funds reverting to the members. In one Oslo bank the total turnover one way in one year was seven billion Kroner while the bank’s expenses, including allotments to various funds, was seven millions; that is, one-tenth of one per cent of the total turnover. There is, of course, nothing to prevent an association from being financed through a low interest on loans instead of a cut on each check.

Some readers will be interested to know what takes place from the point of view of national economy when clearing credits are issued and clearing operations start. Clearing credits are new additions to the total amount of purchasing media of the nation. Do they have the same effect as printing new money bills? No, because once the new money bills find their way to the banks, they form the basis for the creation of ten-times-greater supply of credit-money. Printing of money bills therefore, has a much greater inflationary possibility than clearing credit, and is less controllable.

Has a clearing credit the same effect as a bank credit? Not exactly. A bank credit at present, may either be based on an old deposit–and in this case it does not increase the total purchasing media of the nation–or the bank credit may be actual creation of new book-entry money. In other words: a bank credit is not as clear and precise, from an economic point of view, as a clearing credit. Apart from that, if the bank credit is a new creation, it is at the same time a debt. It increases the national or private debt, and the interest involved has an additional inflationary effect. The clearing credit, if issued to and by the nation, does not increase the national debt. It represents an issue of money warranted by increased production. The clearing credit is the “clearest” possible form of issuing new money when needed.

Has a clearing credit the same effect as a proposed new issue of book-entry money by Federal Reserve Banks, as described in Chapter VI? A clearing credit is closer related to this kind of book-entry money than to present forms of bank credits, but there is still a difference, as long as clearing only forms part of the whole economy. Clearing credits can be watched, throughout circulation, and may be the safest and easiest way of regulating purchasing media.

The Norwegian clearing centre had many difficulties during the first year of its operation. These, however, did not originate from the nature of the system but from minor details of organization and scope. It had, for example, been asserted in advance by several of the founders that the organization ought to start on a basis sufficiently broad to ensure a general usability of its check. Instead of this, the clearing centre was first set up on an experimental scale and even though the number of members increased gradually, many members, who incautiously collected large accounts with the organization, had some difficulty in using these accounts for immediate purchases. This was particularly the case with importers of coal and fruit. They had been warned that they should not sell for more than they could use easily for home market purchases, such as furniture, stationery and repair of their shops and factories. But they exceeded these limits. With individual forethought these difficulties could have been avoided and the only reason they did turn up was because the clearing center had not been started on a scale broad enough to make its checks as negotiable as currency and personal checks. This could have been achieved with government participation, which was planned, but international thunderstorms interfered.

During the spring of 1940 the Oslo Merchant Association took up the matter of using the clearing center as their main channel of financing and trade. They had observed the slow and often painful growth of the experimental organization, They were people versed in the ways of business and the practical application of economics. They saw clearly the reasons for the difficulties that had been met, and they saw equally clearly how these difficulties could be avoided. They did not confuse these incidents with the main issue.

Then came the Nazi invasion April 9, 1940. The usual financial machinery worked with the greatest difficulty. As it recovered, gradually, it was realized that the Nazis intended to use it for gaining complete control of all economic activities in Norway. This made it more important than ever to try to establish a new and independent financial instrument. The Oslo Merchant Association decided unanimously to adopt the clearing system and go ahead on a large scale. Unacquainted with the technique and ruses of an occupying force, the association incautiously published their plans in their May 25th issue of its weekly bulletin.

The Nazi economists saw this and at once understood what was at stake. They forbade the Oslo merchants to go ahead with their plan and issued an edict to newspapers to write nothing more about it. The reasons were obvious. The Nazis were not interested in a Norwegian trade instrument independently of them. Also, they would dislike any mode of financing by which all transactions would be recorded. They reverted to the old palliatives: the printing press and “borrowing”–to satisfy their gluttonous demand for money. They boosted the volume of all kinds of money to more than five times the original size–while at the same time depleting drastically the stock of goods which was the basis for the volume of money. Such was the contribution of the “New Order” to Norwegian economy, They felt behind them a nine billion Kroner inflationary debt. Had the clearing method been used, there would have been records of every amount paid or received. This would have barred many a shady debt-forming transaction from taking place at all and whatever debt would have been contracted could have been disposed of later by the smooth operations of clearing transactions as previously explained in this chapter.

If the United States should consider the use of clearing methods for financing employment of surplus labor in a works plan, the system would naturally have to be somewhat different, it would have to be put into operation with the assistance of the federal authorities, for example, through the Federal Reserve Banks. Clearing checks would have to be made legal tender. Clearing credits would form an additional volume of purchasing power and should therefore be under federal supervision. This would exclude such initial difficulties in usability of clearing checks as were encountered in the Norwegian venture. Besides, a national works plan, although affecting every state, would be essentially a federal cause.

The Federal Reserve Banks could distribute the total amount of established clearing credits to the private banks in different districts according to each district’s share in the works plan, this distribution to be adjusted as the plan proceeded. The total amount of clearing credits to be distributed would be equal to the cost of the works that would be needed to absorb the eventual unemployment. This total would not be issued at once, but would be reached by a gradual process of trial and error. Using clearing credits instead of the usual sort of bank credit for this purpose, would permit us to keep track of this special issue throughout its course along various financial channels. Clearing checks would be used for paying labor as well as for making purchases of all kinds and thus the clearing “money” would flow into every part of business.

The New York Federal Reserve Bank, as an example, may have been allotted half a billion dollars on its clearing account of which two hundred million dollars may have been redistributed to the Guaranty Trust Company for its newly erected clearing account. Of this amount, ten million dollars may be assigned to a highway project. The management of this project will be supplied with special clearing check books by means of which purchases are made, workmen paid and other expenses met. It may be noted in passing that for the sake of convenience workers should get part of their pay in cash, for small purchases. In Norway a small percentage bonus was paid initially on the amount workers received, in the form of clearing checks, because of the supposed inconvenience in the beginning. For this reason workers preferred clearing checks and often took as much as four-fifths of their pay in this form and only one-fifth as cash, although in Norway the clearing checks were not yet legal tender. The labor unions showed great interest in the scheme because of its ultimate purpose of increasing employment and utilization of resources, eventually resulting in higher real wages.

The worker would deposit his clearing check with his local bank just as he would a personal check, and would use his clearing deposit for purchases by means of a check book. Clearing checks cannot be cashed. The banks can use their clearing accounts for any kind of purchases; for taxes, for advancing clearing credits. The only difference between clearing accounts and their other accounts would be that a clearing account cannot be used as a basis for a cash loan. In this way the clearing method offers some safeguard against credit inflation.

The cash provided for workers’ pay envelopes may be newly created or taken from the existing cash holdings of the Federal Reserve Banks.

Outstanding clearing credits can at any time be reduced or cancelled (if such should be the desire) by the federal authorities, replacing clearing credits with ordinary credits, or they can be absorbed, gradually, in tax payments. Most business men would undoubtedly prefer to use clearing checks rather than personal checks for the payment of their taxes.

If, on the other hand, it should be found desirable to increase the use of clearing credits at the expense of ordinary credits, the Federal Reserve Banks could replace created credits of an ordinary kind with clearing credits, in the accounts with their member banks. If the total amount of purchasing media needed expansion, the Federal Reserve Banks could extend their clearing credit accounts with the member banks without reducing other forms of credit.

It will probably be found gradually by trial and error that clearing credits have a special function in the adjustment of economic life, different from other
forms of credit. According to the barometers of the markets, it would then become the duty of the federal economic experts to alternately contract or expand clearing credit and other forms of credit, but probably not at the same time.

The use of clearing credits on a modest scale for domestic purposes would give us experience for the eventual use of clearing methods in international trade, as proposed in a bold plan by Britain’s Lord John Maynard Keynes in 1943, and advanced to the first meeting of experts from the United Nations as a British first draft. Whatever intermediate steps will be taken, something on the line of the Keynes Clearing plan is bound to turn up again. It would have accomplished the same results in the field of international trade as the plan I have described aims to achieve in the domestic economy of a nation.

OTEC – Beorse Article

OTEC – BEORSE April 1980
Muhaima ADDENDUM, May, 1980

Bryn Beorse passed away April 29, 1980, still actively working to break through “superstition,” the false mental structures preventing progress in the realization of truth and sense. He had seen the Senate OTEC bill passed, expected the House bill to do so soon. He realized that his practical work to make OTEC and other benign energy systems known is being shared by other willing hands.

He gave us warnings and encouragement to be free from limited, programmed thinking. From two private letters:
…1,000 top scientists and engineers have more than 5 years experience with OTEC — the other 99,000 scientists and engineers do not and believe they can judge. This is the dangerous fallacy in our society. The technical community does not know technology — only their own particular bailiwick….
…. Please remember: There are no experts, – except those who have worked five years or more on any particular system. Then they become experts in this limited system, not in anything else…experts are limited to certain gadgets — in realizing that all the ‘expert’ bull has distorted our information circuit we can free ourselves from this bondage and we may survive.

Always evaluate who says what, and why he has to, and what eons of experience he has. Titles are elusive things. Science, technology, cybernetics, breaking free from old, stagnant, tired concepts into fluid creativity, humanity using its potentials, the ideal of lucid intelligence and cooperative enterprise — individuals together — these things were in him.

Beorse wrote, provocatively, in Every Willing Hand:
Life in this world with its responsibilities, wars, worries and jarring influences, was made by man, for man, for his spiritual awakening and evolution, and is not to be shunned by him who wants to know and grow  … Conditions, surroundings master us only as long as, we let them…. go out and fight…. think of nothing but living…. that your truer and deeper self may live and act – and move for the improvement of your community.

OTEC – BEORSE April 1980
By Janet Muhaima Startt

“The United states could have energy sufficiency in fifteen years, stop all oil imports, and become an exporter of low-cost benign energy technology to other nations. We have a technology which from its very inception would significantly reduce World tensions. The oceans contain all the power we could ever want – more than 100 times the power it is estimated we will need by the year 2000. For the last sixty years we have been working on the technology to harness this ocean-stored solar energy. The plans are refined now; we know how to build these plants. Some of our biggest companies are ready to do this at any time.”

Bryn Beorse, Research Associate at the University of California’s Sea Water Conversion Laboratory, was discussing OTEC – Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion.

Bryn Beorse has worked with solar energy systems for more than thirty years. After participating in research and building of OTEC components with the French Energie des Mers in the late 1940’s, he returned to the United States in 1948 and introduced the system to Dean Everett D. Howe’s newly created Sea Water Conversion Laboratory, set up to study a wide variety of ocean-related technologies.

He is an engineer who calls himself a “drifter” since he toiled and fought in sixty-seven countries. He is the author of The Future is Ours, on economics, Every Willing Hand, on the employment problem, and other books. He has testified on solar energy at Department of Energy hearings and before Congressman Gerry Studds’ House Subcommittee on Oceanography. Unattached to DOE or other contracts, he moves freely to evaluate energy proposals and development plans.

At 83, Beorse has seen the promises, disappointments, and achievements of many energy systems. He believes it is imperative to initiate immediate construction of ecologically benign energy systems on both a large and small scale to insure the United States’ – and the world’s – survival.

Bryn Beorse sees the earth as a living, fragile, interdependent organism. Defining his function as “an agent for survival,” he is an exponent of the unity of life.

In San Francisco recently, he emphasized the importance of solar technologies, environmental protection, ocean energy development, and humanity’s growing awareness of the interconnected rhythm of all living things.
Q: Please explain OTEC and its value as an energy source.
A: Ocean thermal power is the largest solar energy system and the only one that requires no storage system. The storage is in the ocean itself. The OTEC plant operates on the temperature difference between the sun-heated ocean surface and cold water 500 metres down or more. The warm surface water is sucked into a boiler. In the “Open Cycle” version the water boils under vacuum. The steam runs a turbine driving generator.
On the down side of the turbine this steam is condensed by cold water pumped up from the deep.

In 1881 this began as an idea or theory in the mind of a French physicist Arsene d’Arsonval. In 1913 Americans, Germans, and Italians began to work. In 1926 French engineers George Claude and Paul Boucherot built a laboratory open cycle plant and had it inspected by the Academy of Sciences in Paris. They built a larger fully operating plant at Ougree in Belgium and finally one in Cuba. The French Energie des Mers built and installed a cold water pipeline as part of an open cycle plant in Abidjan, West Africa in the forties and fifties and carefully documented corrosion and biofouling during six months. In the 1950ls we at the University of California built three small demonstration plants. The American Association of Mechanical Engineers published both George Claude’s and the University’s accomplishments. The U.S. President didn’t come running asking us to solve the world’s energy need. A more flamboyant animal had his attention:
Nuclear Power.

It took the oil crunch in the 70’s for Americans generally to become interested. Nuclear power looked less glamorous. Our giant firms didn’t feel Japan, India, or even France should exhaust their sparse resources – and be ahead of us in a colossal coming technology.
As an East Indian general and businessman said, ‘It happens first in America.’ So our biggest companies and seven major universities jumped into the fray. Curiously though, some of these companies and universities, including the U.S. Energy Department, concentrated exclusively on the so-called ‘Closed Cycle’ OTEC plant, in which a ‘working fluid’ (ammonia or other refrigerant) boils rather than ocean water. This involves enormous heat exchangers and leakage of the working fluid may be a problem.
The reason may be unfamiliarity with the ‘flash evaporation’ of sea water and fear of the turbine with open cycle plants – something that highly surprises all turbine experts, for example in the Westinghouse Corporation, which, like George Claude, definitely favors the open cycle and considers it much cheaper and safer than the closed one. Both types are cheaper and faster to build than nuclear plants ~ and ecologically far superior.

The open cycle OTEC plants produce desalted water in addition to power. The Johns Hopkins University has designed OTEC GRAZING PLANTS that produce fuel or other industrial products that may be shipped to shore.

Further OTEC types are the Foam type or Mist type, in which a water wheel instead of a steam turbine is used, which decreases cost. On these types further research is required.

Research, planning, and building of small demonstration plants have encouraged business to now plan practical plants. Westinghouse (interested from the beginning), Lockheed, Bechtel, TRW, Sea Solar Power, General Electric, the Colorado School or Hines, Global Marine, and Stearns and Roger Hydronautics, and many major universities are now ready to build.

Q: Since OTEC is an ocean-based system, would only seacoasts benefit?
A: No. It will reach anywhere. For instance, Professor William E. Heronemus of the University of Massachusetts proposes to provide all power in New England by fuel brought from OTEC ships in the mid-Atlantic.

Q: How does one derive solid, liquid, or gaseous fuel from an OTEC plant?
A: The ocean has all the chemical components that are needed to produce a fuel – the ocean and the air together. The ocean contains, as you know, hydrogen and oxygen; the air contains nitrogen, oxygen and many other things. The OTEC produces power. This power can be used to combine these things into fuel such as ammonia or hydrogen.

Q: These fuels can then be ‘used to replace oil or coal?
A: Yes. Very little adjustment would be needed. We don’t need to reduce power consumption. We could of course; we should. But it is not necessary.

If an OTEC plant is built up to one hundred miles off shore electrical power can be transmitted to shore by current underwater cables. Or an OTEC plant could be built on shore, with the cold water pipeline laid out along the ocean floor to its right depth. ‘The power would be transmitted to users by a regular grid.

Dr. W. H. Avery and Dr. Gordon Dugger at Johns Hopkins University have designed floating OTEC plants in the mid-ocean, directed by satellites to areas of’ maximal thermal difference at each season. Fuel and other products produced by this plant would be transported to shore by ship.

Estimates for building OTEC plants vary from $500-$2500/kilowatt. Beyond building cost comes maintenance and repair, no fuel cost. Thus, the OTEC plants would be our cheapest energy source, and cost would decline.

The question of ‘biofouling’ has been studied for sixty years and is under control.
A grid would keep all but the smallest plankton from being drawn into the pipe.
No added burden is put on the environment.

Reluctance to invest meaningfully in working plants is due to lack of experience in the field. Bryn Beorse stated at a D.O.E. solar energy hearing in 1978:
“It is essential to understand that one who builds and tests a small plant gains an insight into its potential, its economics that no one else can share. So we need demonstration plants – not to convince the men of experience – but to convince the others.
These others, however, in government or elsewhere, often do not realize their handicap and write ponderous documents preventing progress. This is particularly unfortunate at this time….” Still, there is a readiness now to build OTEC plants through private industry.
Bryn is pleased that a number of senators and representatives have proposed bills for building OTEC and by 1986 have 10,000 (ten thousand) megawatts on line. Senate bill S-1830 was introduced on June 21, 1979 by Senator Matsunaga of Hawaii and Senators Jackson, Church, and Inouye among others. House bill H.R. 5796 was introduced on November 2, 1979 by Congressmen Gerry Studds, Fuqua, and others recommending
OTEC funding. H.R. 6154, introduced by Congressmen Studds, Murphy (of New York) and others on December 14, 1979, would establish procedures for location, construction, and operation of OTEC facilities.

OTEC is adaptable to its environment. If the temperature difference between surface and deeper ocean waters is not sufficient to sustain a power-producing plant, OTEC could still be used to produce desalted fresh water by plugging it into an outside power source. Power input would be approximately one-fourth of that required by the presently most economical plants.

The University of California developed just such plants for the Los Angeles/Malibu area, producing five million gallons of fresh water a day for home, industrial, or agricultural use. This type of OTEC could be built for La Jolla/San Diego.

One might ask why the Feather River project was built and the Peripheral Canal is proposed, while OTEC, which would give fresh water, not take it away from a place, is ignored. Only one state representative in Sacramento ever asked him about the plans, Beorse says; no one ever followed up on the information he gave. Information is still available in case they should ask.

Q: The government expresses interest in ‘synfuel’ – what about that as a partial replacement for imported oil?
A: So far, they plan to take it from coal or from tar sands or from shale – all of these will produce more pollution than we have now. And Roger Revelle and other sober scientists see a danger of damaging climatic changes. There are so many other renewable energy sources. Professor Melvin Calvin at the University of California at Berkeley, for example, has travelled the world and come back with information on growing plants that produce oil that could replace imported oil immediately. There is such a crowd of good ways to get energy without the deplorable situation we have now.

Q: Oil companies are interested in OTEC?
A: Yes. The oil companies have the money and the ability to build these things.
They are, after all, big units of democratic thinking people. A good friend of mine is an oil company geologist, for instance; he realizes that the oil companies should have diverted energy from totally oil to include other things. He wants to help humanity survive.

Q: Are Americans able to consider survival in terms of both long-range and immediate goals? It would take time to build these OTEC plants.
A: OTEC plants can be built in two years, and we have that time. If we don’t start now, we won’t survive. Some food problems and energy problems have to be solved in order for us to survive…it’s down to very primitive physical things. OTEC offers a solution to those problems.

The American people aren’t different from other people. People can think and do anything. And some people say, for instance, that all we think about how is ‘me’ – we have the ‘Me Decade.’ That’s nonsense. That’s not what all people think about. That’s what some people think about, and often the well-educated, unfortunately. But the majority of Americans don’t think that way at all. They want to work with others and
that’s why we still have a nation. If the nation were as the academics sometimes picture it, we would have died long ago. And, ‘Can the American people think like that?’ People can think any way, anytime, anything they want… and they do.

Q: Nuclear energy is considered an alternative to oil.
A: I think this nation is 52% against nuclear energy. And that is a great advance in thinking. And the honor there is mainly due to Dr. John W. Gofman  who was Associate Director of Livermore Laboratory for seven years, and is both a medical man and a physicist and has authored many nuclear-related inventions.
He’s the one man in the world who knows most about nuclear power. His latest book is Irrevy, which beautifully pictures the whole monstrosity we call nuclear power.

Q: Where would one build OTECs to serve the United States?
A: There is a small demonstration plant in Hawaii now – built for further research only.
OTEC plants might be built in the Gulf of Mexico or around Florida.
But as Barry Commoner and Amory Lovins have pointed out, in California we wouldn’t even need OTEC plants. We could  still do it by other means… wind, solar, plants that grow oil, and so on. There are ten or twelve alternatives. If you want, you can build OTECs and transfer that energy; if you don’t want to do that you can do other things.
There’s a great amount of work done outside government. There is hope for survival.

Senators and Congressmen can provide people with information on the Senate and House OTEC legislation. For further information on OTEC people can write to

Sea Water Conversion Laboratory, Richmond Field Station, 47th and Hoffman Blvd., Richmond, California, 94804. Alternative Directions in Energy and Economics (A.D.E.E.), 502 Presidio, San Francisco, California is one of several non-profit organizations distributing information about benign energy systems, including OTEC.
OTEC is one of the simplest energy technologies. The temperature difference between the heat-storing surface ocean water and colder Ocean depths is utilized to run a steam turbine engine, which in turn runs a generator producing electrical power.

The steam turbine engine works by forcing steam to push a turbine wheel. The working fluid is boiled; the steam under pressure turns the wheel, then is condensed to liquid again on the down side of the turbine. All steam turbine engines work this way.

In the “OPEN cycle” OTEC, sea water is the working fluid, made to boil by lowering air pressure in the boiler. Just as water boils at a lower temperature at higher altitudes because the air pressure is lower, so warm sea water will boil on its own, without heating, in the OTEC boiler if air pressure is sufficiently reduced. This steam then turns the turbine. On the down side of the turbine cold water pumped up from deeper ocean layers condenses the steam, which is desalted water.

In the “CLOSED cycle” plant, ammonia or other volatile fluid with a low boiling point is used. Sea water transfers its heat through heat exchangers to the liquid, causing it to boil.
Cold sea water from the ocean currents 500 metres down or more condenses this steam as in the open cycle plant.

A temperature difference of 20° C. between surface and deeper layer waters is required for a power-producing OTEC plant. One built for desalination purposes only could be
built where the temperature difference is 10°-15° C., running on energy supplied by an outside power source.

Like the tip of an iceberg, only the top of the offshore OTEC plant would be visible.The work would be done under the ocean surface.

(Click here for a random post from somewhere else in this blog.)



Money can buy things or services, be placed in a savings account for storage, or for starting or continuing a business. When you borrow money the lender charges interest and gets it back through amortization.

Farmers in ancient Babylon could raise another type of loan: a right to buy what they needed, with no cash involved. There was no interest to pay, since nobody had lent them their cash. For “amortization” the farmer sold some of his produce for “giro-orders” or “transfer-orders” until the debt was paid. This credit system, used in addition to our cash loan system, helped create and draw into our economy beneficial and useful enterprises. The cash banking system favors long established businesses that can easily meet yearly payments. The continued life of any community requires new inventive enterprises, needing longer time for maturing. The services rendered by the Giro-office are paid for by a charge of 1 or ½% on each check, initially. When office expenses are met and reserve funds set aside, the rest is distributed among customers.

Identical or similar systems were used by Christian churches during the Middle Ages and by Moslem communities that do not allow time interest on loans. A recent example is Banque Bonnard, operating in Marseilles in France from 1849, with branches in Paris and Lyon. Presently this bank is called Comptoir Central De Credit. A professional study of this bank indicates that it did not take away business from other banks but drew into the economy new and beneficial enterprises. Finland’ s ambassador to Fance, Erik Ehrstrom, interested in this bank, brought the system to Scandinavia in 1936. The “Norsk Girokredit-foreninigen” established that same year, sponsored by the Oslo Merchant Association, grew by leaps and bounds — until the invading Nazis stopped it. They could not risk having their financial shenanigans publicized in “transferorders.”

In the USA Giro-credits are used in small communities today, among farmers to finance workshops or equipment, among businesses to lessen the tax burden, and one state is contemplating a state bank on the Giro principle.

A person who wants to take part in Giro-credit applies for a credit just as he does in a bank. The difference is that the Giro-bank is not lending its cash and it doesn’t need yearly time payments in the form of interest.

In small groups the “transfer-orders” tend to lack the acceptability that would make them smooth and convenient means of payment. If launched by large banks, so the “transfer-orders” or “Giro-orders” become national and international means of payments, our most pressing economic problems would be solved. We could build, new, clean, energy machines without increasing inflation. And if a lender failed, the loss would be only like that suffered when a young worker dies; the nation would be deprived of his future contribution; but no loss or breakdown would be caused to the lender.


Bryn Beorse Feb. ’79

Bryn Beorse: In Search of Mystic Balance

By Neil Klotz (originally published in New Age Magazine, late ’70’s)

“…At eighty-one, Beorse abjures all titles and will be the first to correct, gently but firmly, anyone who uses one on him…”

Therefore, O Ananda, be a lamp unto yourself
Rely on yourself and do not rely on external help, holding fast to the truth as a lamp.
Seek salvation alone in the truth, and do not look for assistance to anyone besides yourself -from the Buddha’s farewell address to his disciples

It was India, 1959, and Bryn Beorse was sixty-three years old. He had spent the better part of his life as a man of the world, as an engineer and economist working on solar energy and full employment, as an advisor to foreign governments and the United Nations, as a traveller living in sixty-seven countries, as a member of the Norwegian Underground in World War II, as the author of eight books, and at the same time as a spiritual disciple of the sufi mystic Inayat Khan.
Beorse was somewhat discouraged at the time, because he had been fighting for twenty years to interest governments in a technology that would tap the massive solar energy resources in the sea. But it was 1959, and the nuclear power chimera of “atoms for peace” had taken the energy community by storm.

“I had had an experience,” says Beorse, “where I was talking to Prime Minister Nehru and a room full of scientists, whom I felt were listening and were interested, but that nothing would come of it. So I felt I might just as well go on retreat.”

Bryn Beorse headed for the Himalayas, followed the pilgrim trail toward Badrinath, and, at the last station, Josimath, rushed up a mountain trail, along a stream.

“I drank from the stream from time to time,” he recalls, “and it became more beautiful and more life-giving for every mile that I ascended, until at last I had the feeling that I just flew up with no hindrance. And I began to think that this was the place where I should spend the rest of my life. Then, just as I was thinking this, I saw a cave, cut right into a steep wall of rock.

“It was one of those caves where you’d expect a saint to be looking out from the opening. So I said to myself, ‘Oh, this is exactly where I should stay. Perhaps I could sit there meditating for the rest of my life. But how am I to get in?’ ”

“Then I discovered, by climbing higher, that there was a way of getting in, a shaft down into the cave. At the bottom it was really dark. And as I was feeling around, I felt something furry that went BRROOOOM and then I felt again and it went BRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM. And I thought, ‘I better get out of here.’ So a Himalayan bear, which I think now was pushed by Inayat Khan, told me to get out of there, go back, work on yourself, work on solar energy, work in the world. So here I am back in the world. ”

And, at eighty-one, Bryn Beorse is still here, still fighting for clean energy, full employment, and the work in the world which he says is necessary for mystic balance. Much of this balance, he says, lies in working with the one’s point of view. Beorse expresses his own point of view with a good deal of vigor, but apparently without any attempt to have others follow him.

“I express what I feel because I have been asked to, and one may or may not listen to that as they wish,” he says. In fact, he says, taking someone else’s point of view is much of what the sufi training is about, although the word sufi has been widely misunderstood to refer ‘to a sect of Islam or some other religion.
“A sufi,” he recalls his teacher saying, “has two points of view, his own and that of the other. And who is this other? Everybody in the world. In other words, he has at least three billion points of view, because he has to have that of himself and any other being.”

One of the things sufis themselves have different points of view about is the matter of titles and ranks. Although Beorse is the oldest living disciple of Inayat Khan – the man who founded the Sufi Order in the West in 1910 – and has been accorded the title of murshid, or “teacher,” he abjures all titles and will be the first to correct, gently but firmly, anyone who uses one on him. He will point, instead, to Buddha’s farewell advice to his disciples: “Be a lamp unto yourself.”

“Some believe in the hierarchy as a means to help the pupil, and maybe in some instances that is good,” he says. “Personally, I am against it. I don’t think that it does any good, and I’ve always asked that no one use the title I have been accorded in the sufi effort. I certainly don’t feel that I deserve any title.”

Titles are only one of the things that can get in the way of someone’s spiritual development these days, said Beorse. With his “tongue of flame” (the meaning of his sufi name Shamcher), Beorse will good-humoredly disassemble any particular concept of the spiritual path one cares to bring up – all in the name of the search for balance.

On spiritual teachers: “Teachers should not tell you what to do. If they do tell you what to do, then they are not teachers. A teacher is one who helps you evolve and awaken your own latent powers of judgment and decision.

“A lot of people need no teacher at all. Rabindranath Tagore said in one of his poems that people told him that he had to go through this gate or that gate or follow this leader to become close to God, but then God had grace on him and led him to Himself without any guide.”

On spiritual practices: “When Inayat Khan first instructed me in some practices, it was in a railway station where he was waiting to take the next train. Everyone sat there and looked at us as if they didn’t even notice. There was no secrecy.

“At that time there was a big superstition among people: The more practices you got, the more important they thought you were. I never thought that. I thought practices were given because there was something wrong with you that you had to correct. So I did the practices conscientiously, but I didn’t feel the least bit proud of them.”

On initiation: “Initiation is as much as the initiated one accepts of the initiation, nothing less and nothing more. Some are afraid that initiation will oblige one to acknowledge one’s membership in a certain order. Initiators may think so, but in that case I feel sorry for them. The only thing that initiation makes is a contact, which may be very important or may be rather unimportant – it all depends.

“For instance, anyone can get in touch with lnayat Khan or his teacher or any of the spiritual beings, but if you are initiated, it is easier, because you have been reminded to them, your name has been told. It may be easier the more sincere you were at the moment of initiation. But once you have had that initiation, no one can take it away from you. It goes beyond lifetimes.”

Beorse’s own early spiritual path took him on what he calls a “wild search” for a teacher through India during his twenties. Born into a Lutheran family in Norway, he had begun to study yoga at an early age and chose engineering as an occupation so that he could travel widely. But he found nothing in India and returned to Oslo determined to forget about the whole thing. At that point he met Inayat Khan, who asked him to translate a lecture that the sufi was going to give.

His meeting with Inayat Khan to prepare for the lecture consisted solely of ten minutes of silence, Beorse recalls. “I thought that since he didn’t want to discuss the lecture, why should I,” he said. “So I came to his lecture, listened to the whole thing, and went up and gave it all in Norwegian without any notes. Normally I wouldn’t have remembered that
much, but there was something in Inayat Khan. He managed to transfer it to my mind so that I was able to repeat it correctly. ”

After that, Beorse knew Inayat Khan for four years before the teacher’s death. Beorse recalls that in a sort of repeat of Buddha’s farewell address, his teacher used the last four hours he spent with his European disciples to warn them about using mediums or psychics instead of relying on their own intuition.

“One of the things he said was that teachers never, never talk to pupils through a medium. If they want to reach their pupils, they talk to them directly,” says Beorse. “Most mediums have no capacity of discrimination; they believe in everything that comes from the other side. I have met so many people who say, ‘Oh, I have direct guidance from the other side!’ Well, the other side is just as full of cheating and nonsense as this side-even more so.

“And do you know, after Inayat had warned us and after he had gone to the other side, four of his closest disciples, with high titles, came to Suresnes (the sufi headquarters in France) and each said, ‘I must tell you that I have been appointed to be the leader of the whole sufi movement – I have been told so by a medium.’”

Even so-called “mystic sciences” such’ as the I Ching, tarot, and astrology can get in the way of developing one’s own intuition and spiritual guidance, says Beorse. And when an intuition does come, it still needs to be discriminated from the mental static that can get mixed in, and doing so is an art that people must learn for themselves. What all teachers and all paths point to is nothing but this self-reliance for communication with the Absolute, which Beorse says Inayat Khan referred to as “faith.”

“Faith, said Inayat, is what makes people venture out in the sea in boats that will hardly carry them. Faith is what makes people shoot down a ski slope and jump into the wild air and not know what will happen. And faith is what brings mystics up to the top of the mountain, where they can see the whole world before them, while scientists dig themselves up along the mountainside and also reach the top,” Beorse says. .

Testing out intuitions, digging one’s way up, is what leads to the true knowledge, enlightenment, or whatever one wants to call it, Beorse says. What is necessary is a balanced life – “in the world, but not of it,” in the words of the Bible.

“There is a trend now in the opposite direction,” he says. “You are supposed to give all this up and just think about your own development or become peaceful before you start working for peace in the world. That is complete nonsense. You don’t get any peace within yourself without working in the world and with the world. We are here for that reason. We weren’t born here to retire into a cave and sit there the rest of our lives. Then you could just as well be on another plane.”

In his long and varied life, Beorse has tackled two of the biggest problems on this plane – energy and employment. As an engineer, he was the first to bring to the U.S. the technology that makes it possible to extract solar energy from the ocean’s waters. Called ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), the system could supply one hundred times as much energy as the world is projected to need in the year 2000. Unlike photovoltaic cells and other solar electric systems, ocean thermal conversion has been ready to put into production at competitive costs for the past several decades, but it has been disregarded while both fossil and nuclear fuels were monopolized for profit.

The OTEC system uses free fuel – the sun’s energy extracted from the temperature difference between the surface and depths of the ocean. There would be no pollution, says Beorse, and millions of jobs would be created worldwide by the production of the plants.

Fortunately, more and more people have begun to listen to him and the few other engineers who have advocated OTEC over the past ten years. In fact, seven major universities have come to conclusions similar to Beorse’s. And the federal government has begun to fund a sea solar project, but apparently at a rate that places it well behind other priorities. At present, the government funds OTEC development for $36 million, fossil fuel development for $903 million, and nuclear power development for $3.4 billion.

“OTEC is much better technically prepared than the nuclear plants,” says Beorse. “But people have a hard time seeing that, since they have worked so hard on the nuclear plants. I talked with a nuclear engineer from Massachusetts who said, ‘I can agree with you that OTEC might be cheaper than nuclear, but it isn’t cheaper now because you have to build new plants. We already have nuclear plants.’”

Under his other hat as economist, Beorse has fought an even larger battle, for insured full employment for everyone. How, after all, can one work in the world if there is no work?
“Employment is a condition for dignity and humanity,” he says. “It is the most cruel and most thoughtless thing in the world to keep even one person unemployed against his or her wish.”

During the Kennedy administration, Beorse met with Arthur Schlesinger, one of the chief presidential advisors, to discuss a plan for full employment based on his work as well as that of economists John Phillip Burnett and John H. G. Pierson. Both Burnett and Pierson have developed ways to finance full employment under a free enterprise system, Beorse says. He and Schlesinger “formed an alliance” on the plan, he recalls, and the aide told him that the President and everyone else would meet to decide on it “as soon as this silly trip to Texas has been completed.” “And that was the end,” says Beorse.

Full employment, he adds, would be the quickest way to cut down on the number of senseless, unfulfilling jobs and give more people a chance for interesting ones, closer to what the Buddhists call “Right Livelihood.”

“There will always be people who are working in jobs that aren’t fulfilling to them. That can’t be helped,” he says, “But full employment can gradually change that, because you could leave a job and get another one. You could say, ‘I quit, because I don’t like this.’ That is what so many businesses are afraid of. And to hell with their fear.”

As an engineer, Beorse himself has held several jobs he would have left sooner but had a family to support. And there weren’t many openings after he passed seventy. Beorse now works as a consultant on sea solar power to the Sea Water Conversion Laboratory of the University of California-Berkeley. He also serves as an advisor to the newly formed Alternative Directions in Energy and Economics in San Francisco.

One thing Beorse consistently refuses to discuss is the future. As his own projects inch closer to fulfillment, as the discoveries of the scientist-engineer begin to parallel those of the mystic, as young people ask him what they should do with their lives, Beorse finds himself besieged with requests for predictions. Not much chance for that, however. With an indeterminate gleam in his eye, he directs one back to Buddha, the farewell address, and one’s own resources.

“We are making the future, we are not predicting it,” he said. “When you predict, you predict on the basis of past experiences, which have no significance anymore.

“Science mainly lives in the area of Isaac Newton-cause and effect. But today’s physicists are beginning to understand that this is just a concept we have. There is no such thing as a fixed or stationary thing. Everything is in constant movement. Not in millionths of a second, but in millionths of a millionth of a millionth. subatomic particles are created out of the void, out of space, and again enter into space. It is the same thing in a small time period that happens in a great time period when God or Brahman or the Universe expresses itself and begets planets and plants and animals and people and spiritual longings, and then contracts again and turns it into nothing in billions of years. And there would be no satisfaction in the work for OTEC or for full employment if it weren’t for the light of this evolution.

“We don’t know whether we will have a stable or an unstable future. We don’t know whether there will be a colossal evolution or even a nuclear war. But it is our damned duty to try to lead the evolution in a sensible way. That is all we can do.”

Cooperative and Non-Cooperative Mind Rendezvous

November 5, 1962

1. Lacking generally accepted terms, the above is used to indicate the rare but confirmed observations of either voluntary mind contact, in which case two or more persons know what the others are thinking – or involuntary contact, in which case a “mind-reader” may know what another or others are thinking without cooperation or even without the knowledge of the objects. these may be removed from the “reader” any distance on this globe.
2. In 1957 an army project for research in this matter was contemplated. This project was, in my view, too exclusively based on mediocre results reached by large groups rather than on achievements demonstrated by a few individuals. So I wrote some suggestions to Brigadier-General Theodore J. Conway, Director of Army Research and Development.
3. Our correspondence concluded with talks with Colonel Shrimp in the Pentagon in 1959, following my return from a trip to the Himalayas. Colonel Shrimp was interested in my suggestions but apparently not authorized to change or add to the project scope, which was limited to sponsoring university studies and studies in Japan.
4. University studies along these lines have so far chiefly been confined to group results, even though many scholars are informed of the more interesting results achieved by rare individuals.
5. My own concern began at the age of eight when I found I had some limited capabilities which were suppressed by hostile reactions from friends, not from parents. Generally a sympathetic home and school environment in the formative years is a first requirement. My lost early talents were occasionally and spottily revived.
6. From 1924 through part of 1927 I was a friend and pupil of the late Hindu musician Inayat Khan, who seemed to have a complete mastery of mind rendezvous. In his presence and then only I could also read him. Inayat, in his youth, traveled widely in the Himalayas where he met men communicating mentally with ease. His son Vilayat, whose mother was an American and who studied at the Sorbonne, also traveled in the Himalayas and met mind communicators. I met one myself in the quite civilized city of Mussorree in the lower Himalayas.
7. Several Americans, some in influential positions, are interested in and/or have achieved in this matter.
8. Colonel Warren D. Langley, present Director of Army Research and Development, informed me last Wednesday that Colonel Shrimp’s project had been discontinued, but that resumption was possible … “if a breakthrough in University research would be forthcoming.”
9. The ‘breakthrough’ rather happened long ago when we first discovered that minds were pooled and the common pool could be tapped. The problem may not be to discover new procedures but to recover and broaden knowledge already possessed.
A. In view of the military and civilian importance of this matter it is suggested that at least one project be started in which interested University personnel should certainly take part, though these should not be the exclusive operators and shold not be permitted to limit the studies according to their views.

B. Among the first steps of such a project might be these:
a. Establishing schools for picked children from homes sympathetic to the idea. A great many such homes can be found in this country today. Should we experiment with children? We do, every day, and not always safely. The proposed experiment could do the children nothing but good.
b. These schools would teach the acknowledged courses in addition to special training in reliable mental responses, special mental and physical exercises, certain dietary considerations under supervision of medical doctors versed in these disciplines. There are quite a few such doctors.
c. Generally these schools might be tilted toward Dr. Montessori, Inayat Khan and similar trends. The results of such an education could be nothing but good, whatever else might be achieved.
d. Similar courses could be established for interested adults.

King of Afghanistan

Just as our environment treats every man and woman differently so are they different with different tastes, different needs, different demands and different contributions.  Yet, nearly every one among us marches around with a firm concept in his mind of just how any man or woman should be, what he or she should eat, how to behave, how he should belch, dress himself (or herself), think, feel, and act.  And woe be he or she who falls short or long of the neighbor’s standards and demands.

One who taught me deeply about this was the aging King of Afghanistan.  In 1928 I was staying at Ankara Palace, a superb – and only – inn in the just-then-emerging capital of the “Young Turks”.  One morning as I was relaxing in this unobtrusive elegance, the hotel manager approached me, bowing ingratiatingly: His Majesty the King of Afghanistan would arrive this afternoon, and, with his retinue, occupy the entire inn.  Would I please, kindly, find other quarters?
My shock was as if the Empire State Building in New York had suddenly blown down with all the chunks and pieces falling on my head.  How did one go about finding “quarters” in this less than half finished emerging capital?
In a daze I gathered by things and took off in a taxi.
It was late in the afternoon when I discovered that my only pair of decent shoes had been left at the hotel.  I returned, knocked at the door of my old room and — since there was no answer — entered.  the room was half dark and seemed to be empty.  I headed straight for my bed, bowed down and peeked under it.  I sensed more than saw that I had company.  I turned and saw an extremely dignified elderly gentleman on his knees, helping me to peek.  As we both found nothing there, we looked at each other quizzically.  I hastily explained that I had occupied this room until this morning, had been told to leave because the King of Afghanistan was expected and in a hurry had forgotten my best shoes.
The gentleman nodded, with a troubled look.  “You know,” he said, “that was not very nice to ask you to leave just because a king was coming.  Kings ought to be told more frequently what inconvenience they cause.”
The gentleman helped me search the room, stood on tip-toe looking on top of shelves, came down on his knees peeking under chairs.  Finally, he looked searchingly at my feet.
“You know,” he said, “it just seems to me you must use the same size of shoes as myself and it just so happens that I have more of them than I really care for and can use at the moment..”
He opened a monogrammed leather suitcase and there were six pairs of various types, neatly stacked inside.
“Do you think any of these will do?”
“No, no, thank you; I wouldn’t dream of..”
But he had already taken out a luxurious pair, set me down in a chair and tried them on me.  From his kneeling position he smiled up at me, “A perfect fit.”
At that moment there was a perfunctory knock at the door and a splendidly uniformed dignitary entered.  He eyed the kneeling figure at my side and exploded, “But your maj – ma – jesty!”
I walked out from that hotel on air, in a King’s shoes, recalling that old Indian saying, “Judge no man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.”

from Planet Earth Demands


What is our environment?  Perhaps a better question: What is not? Our shirts, our pants and shoes are our environment.  Our homes, lawns and neighbors.  Our neighbor’s cat confronted by our own dog.  The trees and birds.  The paved streets.  The oozing cars.  The sputtering motor cycles.  A daughter’s friend who brings reefers and wants her to join and not be chicken.  The policeman on your beat.  The sheriff’s car driving by.  The fire engine.  The newspaper and tv; the school and the university.  The internal revenue.  The doc and the dentist.  The hospital and health insurance.  The wife; the mother; son; daughter.  The daughter’s baby.  The factory.  The gas station. The office.  The bed and clean sheets.  The laundromat.  The heater, the range, the refrigerator, and the air conditioner.  The car, the bus, the D-11 and the 747.  The air; the tap water; the swimming pool, the ocean.  Your body.  Your mind.  The neighborhood and the next town.  The country.  Spaceship Earth.  The moon, the sun, the galaxy, the universes.
All this gives us our comfort, our tension, our fear and irritation; our health and disease; our development and retardation; our joy and sorrow.  The art of ecology is to turn the environment to joy, not sorrow.  There are two points of attack: Changing the part of the environment that does not make us happy, and changing our own physical stamina to meet and cope with whatever environment is encountered.  To accept one of these paths and exclude the other would not do.  We need to do both, continually, while avoiding exaggerations.
from Planet Earth Demands


A broader question: Why do we so continually and steadfastly miss the boat?

Psychologist, Colonel James Mrazek writes in the Air University Press, “Analytical, logical thinking (the only process so far allowed in education and acquiring of knowledge, from the first grade through the highest university degrees) — moves laboriously, a step at a time, sorting, relating, finally concluding. Another type is the intuitive flash-of-insight process. A person encountering an idea all of a sudden is surprised by it. There is no explanation for it. Mrazek sees this ‘creative intuition’ not just as an adjunct to the mind but as its main process through which scientific discoveries are usually made, military battles planned and won.
This intuitive process of mind activity has been known to Western psychiatry for decades – to Eastern Yogis and Sufis a little longer. The Ishopanishad, dug out of India’s distant past, has a word about the type of knowledge acquired exclusively through our analytical-deductive method, “Those devoted to illusion enter blind darkness. Into greater darkness enter those who are solely attached to ‘knowledge.”
Mankind is not made up of psychiatrists and yogis. Glenn Williams is a simple Honeywell engineer. He was talking to us even simpler Navy engineers about statistics and probability. One in the audience asked him a question. The words made no sense. Glenn looked blank for a moment; then his face lit up. He answered what the questioner had meant to ask but never did ask. I saw Glenn after the lecture, “You didn’t understand that questioner’s words any more than we did. Can you read minds?” He smiled, “Sometimes we tune in.”
I lived in this kind of world from as far back as I can remember, unruffled by snow, ice, ski slopes, engineering and a stern Lutheran environment.
I wish everybody including business executives and public officials could share with me this bewitched and magical world where problems are solved as they arise, be it in the world of seers or in the land of doers.
excerpt from Planet Earth Demands

My Meeting with Murshid Inayat Khan

by SHAMCHER BEORSE (in The Message, February 1980)

A dark November day in 1924 the phone rang. Would I translate the talks to be given at the Oslo University by the Hindu musician and mystic, Inayat Khan?

I had just returned from two years’ work as an irrigation engineer in India and Indonesia. I had arrived with a reading knowledge of Indian culture and traditions, eager to learn more.

The abyss of poverty and misery staggered me and soon overshadowed all other impressions. I wondered whether the self-inflicted torture of the fakirs or even the subtle philosophies of the Yogis could not have been channeled into talents or activities more helpful to the starving masses and the welfare of a great nation.

Accordingly, my first reaction was not too positive toward this Hindu who was lounging in the hotels of Europe and America while his countrymen were in such desperate need of mind and muscle to better their lot.

Outside his room at the Grand Hotel was a winding queue of excited enthusiasts, among whom was an old friend and chronic curiosity-hunter, Lars, who attached himself to me upon hearing my errand and that I was to be let in without waiting. “We ought to go together,” he said, “and thus ease the queue.” (And ease your waiting time, too, my fine-feathered friend, thought I, but hs proposition was altruistically put. I could not turn it down. )

Wondering how I would be able to get in my pot shots of practical questions about the lectures amid the heavy spiritual artillery fire I expected from my friend, I entered the room a worried man.

A pair of laughing eyes looked up at us.

“Shall we have silence?”

The gentle, sincere, almost apologetic tone of his voice contrasted with the startling sense of his words. With a graceful movement of his hand, a nearby sofa was indicated. My friend and I seated ourselves in opposite corners, with Murshid Inayat Khan in the middle. Then we closed our eyes.

I woke up, refreshed, when a bell rang. The interview was over. My friend and I rose, shook hands with our host, left.

“I had a lot of questions I wanted to ask him,” said my friend as we walked out. A thoughtful frown creased his forehead. “The funny thing is, I can’t remember a single one of them now. They couldn’t have been so important. But I feel fine!”

Murshid Inayat Khan and I had no further talk before the lecture. I felt he was quite able to judge for himself what was necessary in the way of preparation. When the evening came, I sat down in the first row, with notebook and pencil. I did not use either.

He talked about the urges and hopes of all creation …. “Those whose intensity of sympathy has blended their hearts with beings and things — know that the trees of the forests and even the rocks of the deserts are yearning for greater freedom and knowledge. One might use the expression that the trees of the forest are planted in hope.”

When the lecture had been given in full, I took his place and delivered the talk in my native tongue. I had always been proud of my memory. This time I wondered whether it was all a matter of my own mental powers.

When he was to leave I took him to the railway depot. A station attendant gave us the wrong platform number so he nearly missed his train, which would have upset his entire schedule of lectures and caused irreparable damage.

As we ran for the right platform, all out of breath, we again came upon the careless attendant. I was about to give him a piece of my mind when up came Murshid Inayat’s right hand, in a hasty greeting, embellished by laughing eyes, and these somewhat breathless farewell words:

“I have not had such fun for a long time — God bless you!”

The train still stood at ease, three minutes after scheduled departure time with not the slightest indication of hurry. I apologized at having led him at such a fast pace when obviously it had not been necessary.

“Oh, but it was,” he insisted, “for now we shall have time to talk!”

In the quiet of a railway compartment, miraculously unoccupied except for the two of us, Murshid Inayat told me of his music and his work, how his late friend and teacher in India, Seyed Madani, had told him on his death bed, “Go West, my son, and unite East and West by the rhythm of your music — for which task you have been blessed!”

At first he understood this in a strictly musical sense. A descendant of the great Moula Baksh, “India’s Beethoven,” Murshid Inayat Khan had been collecting ancient tunes from all over India and singing them, accompanied by his vina, for the public and at court. Arriving in San Francisco in 1910, he sang and played his vina as he had done in India. By and by he began to feel he not only played music, but that he was music. And all other human beings likewise seemed to him to be music, each one of a particular tune and character, revealing their secrets to his supersensitive heart.

He then began to view his teacher’s parting words in a new light. He had grown into a world of music where humans — and even things — were the instruments. The terms East and West he no longer saw as mere geographic directions, but as straying entities of mind and heart, leading to misunderstanding and disharmony, which he would try to bring together in mutual understanding.

There followed two years of study with him at his summer school at Suresnes, Bois de Boulogne, outside Paris. I found that his ideas, which had seemed a little vague in a railway depot in Oslo, were as scientifically conceived as anything I had encountered in my engineering career or in my study of physics. They were already incorporated in several books.

In 1926, Eddington, Hylleraas, James Jeans and other outstanding physicists hypothesized what has been called the “vibration theory of matter,” about which science is still fighting. This hypothesis is a true replica of Murshid Inayat’s views, except that, to the latter, the “vibrations” were not just movement of inert matter, or of no matter at all, as has elegantly been suggested by some scientists. To Murshid Inayat, these vibrations were curls and twists of love — that unfathomable force that created and goes on creating and maintaining things and thoughts and sentiments.

A curious and significant application of this vibration theory was Murshid Inayat’s attitude toward the “peace through disarmament” dreams of the time, sponsored by the United States Secretary of State Kellogg and others.

“Were men of good intentions to disarm now.” said Murshid Inayat, “they would become slaves of the not-so-well-intentioned and be made to work and fight for the very causes they abhor.”

A few years later this warning was dramatized by Hitler’s rise to power.

His extraordinary sensitivity was a constant puzzle to me. Once, as he was lecturing, my mind slipped off to the thought of a swimming appointment I had after the lecture and, although the talk was most interesting, I impolitely wondered whether it would be over soon. With an instantaneous reflex Murshid Inayat looked down at his wrist watch — then up at me! There was no reproach in his eyes, just mild wonder. He was only half through his talk!

Upon another occasion an older associate of his had taken me to task for using a chair in the audience which was just next to the one Murshid Inayat used when he was listening to some speaker. It was far back and, said my assailant, Murshid Inayat wanted, of course, to sit alone and undisturbed!

Somewhat taken aback at such fussiness I decided nevertheless to sit as far away from that chair as possible, and seated myself in the first row at the next lecture. Before it began, Murshid Inayat walked in unobtrusively, looked around, then walked quietly up to the first row and sat down beside me again. My assailant blushed profusely.

Another elderly associate of Murshid Inayat once took it upon herself to lecture me on his exalted state, a state which was such that none of us could ever hope to reach it, or even have him as an example; at the most, we might hope to reach the status of some older associate!

To anyone familiar with psychology, the case of this “older associate” was pretty clear and rather alarming, as long as she was posing as a teacher and helper of man, and I was concerned and somewhat dejected as both of us entered the hall where Murshid Inayat was to give a talk. He had not been anywhere near the place where we had talked. Now he entered the rostrum, his face a thundercloud, though his eyes softened as they fell upon the “older associate.”

“One’s closest and dearest friends often become one’s worst enemies,” he began. “Throughout history, the blessed influence of great teachers has been marred and distorted by their associates insisting upon putting them on pedestals and making monsters of them! All great teachers have been great because they were human, subject to the foibles and temptations of humans — yet surmounting them! Their wish was always to serve God and man by trying to be examples, or at least friends, on the most humble human basis — to all who cared for their friendship. In the eyes of God there are no highs or lows, spiritually or otherwise, and whoever thinks he is ‘advanced’ has not begun to climb!”

Then, gently, he switched to the subject of the evening.

One day I asked him the question that had been on my lips since the first day we met. Why did he not stay in India which was so much more in need of his vision, wisdom and energy?

He smiled as if he had known all along this question had been worrying me. First he reminded me he had stayed and worked for quite some time in India before he came to the West. Also, he told me some day he would go back. (He did.) But he came to the West, he said, because this, and not India, was now the center of the world from which action and initiative went out to the other parts of the world. If his message was important for the whole world, he said, it had to be planted in the West. Here the minds were alert, the determination and organizing ability active. Western associates might take a longer time making up their minds. But when made up, they would stick, and do something about it.

“India,” he said, “was once the center of civilization. That is no longer so. The western industrialist, who first builds human power outward and upward and then uses his profits for building further and along other lines, is a greater benefactor at this time and often closer to God than the pious man who ponders his own soul only.”

In the same vein, when asked by associates if we should not go to India to learn, Murshid Inayat smilingly replied: “The people of India will come here.”
One might say Murshid Inayat helped his own countrymen by helping the West sharpen its tools of service.

His goal in life was the same as for all earnest seekers: truth. But how does one look for truth? What better path than love? Sympathy? Looking at things from the other’s viewpoint? Merging into that penetrating force that runs the world? This leads to harmony, which again breeds beauty and, in the atmosphere of Love-Harmony-Beauty, vision becomes clear, truth may be seen, reached.

Universal Worship, instituted by him, demonstrated his goal as well as his means of seeking it. This was a devotional service, or ceremony, conducted around an altar on which were placed, in the order of their age, six books representing the Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Hebrew, Christian, and Muslim religions, from which selected quotes were read. Behind each scripture was a candle lit from a taper with the words, “To the glory of the omnipresent God, we kindle the light symbolically representing the Hindu religion” (Buddhist, Zoroastrian, and so on), and at last a seventh candle in the middle was lighted, with the words, “To the glory of the omnipresent God, we kindle the light symbolically representing all those who, whether known or unknown to the world, have held aloft the light of truth amidst the darkness of human ignorance.”

We who had the privilege of thus hearing, in one sitting, quotations from all the world’s scriptures, were always amazed anew at the similar, nay identical, manner in which all of them dealt with our problems.

A prayer followed (which has been used upon several occasions at United Nations meetings):

Most gracious Lord, Master, Messiah, and Savior of humanity,
We greet Thee with all humility.
Thou art the first Cause and the last Effect,
The Divine Light and the Spirit of Guidance,
Alpha and Omega.
Thy Light is in all forms, Thy Love in all beings:
in a loving mother, in a kind father, in an innocent child, in a helpful friend,
in an inspiring teacher.
Allow us to recognize Thee in all Thy holy names and forms:
as Rama, as Krishna, as Shiva, as Buddha.
Let us know Thee as Abraham, as Solomon, as Zarathustra, as Moses, as Jesus, as Muhammad,
And in many other names and forms,
known and unknown to the world.

It has often been said that character can be gauged in adversity. To Murshid Inayat, nothing was adversity. He found a staunch supporter of this viewpoint in a man from an entirely different walk of life, the pioneer of American mass industry, Henry Ford, who after an interview with Murshid Inayat in his Detroit office exclaimed, “This is what America needs!”

0n a mid-September day in 1926, when Bois de Boulogne had put on its brilliant fall colors, I reminded Murshid lnayat of this and pleaded with him to remain in the West, or at least come back, when he told me he was heading for his native land.

“We’ll meet again next spring,” I said, confidently.

“We’ll meet every time you think of our friendship –in your heart!” he smiled. Then he added, with a faraway look, “True friendship grows beyond the need of physical presence. ”

I never saw him again “in physical presence.” He passed from our world of East and West in February, 1927, near the tomb of his teacher.

“There was a scent as of roses in the room when he had left this world,” said one who had witnessed his passing.

In his native India there is a legend that a saint or sage leaves a scent of roses upon passing, as a token of the fragrance of his eternal soul.

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