Hans Jayanti 1975 Festival Newspaper
Edith Watson and her 26 year old son Don are both premies. For a long time Edith was the only premie in Orlando. We thought that it would be appropriate for her to write this letter of welcome.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
What an incredible and unbelievable thing this is for me to be able to say, "Welcome to Orlando, the scene of the '75 Hans Jayanti festival." In my most far out dreams I never could have imagined that such an incredible thing as Hans Jayanti would ever be held here. In the almost two years that I have lived in Orlando since receiving Knowledge, there have been weeks at a time when there was not even one other premie to have satsang with. From that to this is like an unbelievable dream.
Yet by the grace of Guru Maharaj Ji, here I am sharing with all of you, my brothers and sisters, this event which is another step in bringing to all the world the peace, love and harmony that everyone is searching for to make life the beautiful heaven that it is supposed to be.
Most of all, I would like to say to each of you that we are coming together for a "feast of love and peace." Let's open our hearts and just enjoy this most precious gift. The City of Orlando will never be the same and I'm sure that we will not be the same either. So to each of you, Welcome.
In his Love,
What's on where
On the Main Stage
The events on the main stage will start up at 11:00 with a down-home, learn to square dance time. After about an hour of squaring off, Tim Gallwey will come on to lead the premies in another sort of work-out. (see article on page 2) After Tim is finished, there will be the big "kick-off" program of satsang and music to get us all introduced. In the middle of the afternoon, around three, everyone will have a chance to show off what they learned in the morning. The Spirit River String Band will be leading a PRETTY BIG SQUARE DANCE.
At night, more Company of Truth, songs, and then the Lord.
Grande Hall, Carlton Hotel: This is the biggest of the indoor festival rooms. It holds 1200 people in one sitting and will be presided over by Mickey Cottrell, DUO Director in Indianapolis. Mickey is a showman of exquisite taste and temperament and doubtlessly all the performances in the Grand Hall will reflect this same spirit. The curtain will be rising this morning at 11:00 and the show will go on all day until 5:30. In the morning and early afternoon, there will be a PLA theatre performance, The Hermit. In the later afternoon, the Grande Hall will host All in the Family, the new-age version of the DUO Workshop. Bob Mishler, Lou Schwartz, and Michael Dettmers will be on hand to answer questions. Come prepared with open ears and ready to find out everything that you always wanted to know about everything… but were afraid to ask.
Cabaret, Solage International Hotel in the East room: The Cabaret will also begin at 11:00 today. It will run till 1:30 and then start up again at 3:30 till 5:00. In true Cabaret fashion, the shows will be quick bits of music, comedy and skits. The best from around the country.
Dinner stage, (outdoor stage on the field): From 10 till 11:30 am lovely light acoustical music will float out onto the dining area. Nice to eat brunch by or just listen to with your satsang pals. Beginning at 11:30 there will be PLA performances till about 4:30.
Traveling Theatre will be everywhere: music, skits and general funfor-all. Look for the traveling troupes poolside at the Carlton, Solage and Travelodge, as well as around the field, and don't forget early mornings sweet music to wake up by.
Films come in packages A, B and C, but unlike chinese food, you can only see one at a time. They will be shown in the Travelodge in three different rooms. Dr. Lao will be shown together with some surprises. Family of Love (precious footage of Maharaj Ji's wedding) will be shown with The Sunshine Makers and Sweet Bliss, a sat-sang cinema from Down Under. Power of Love will play with another new satsang cinema film, For Sure Fast Relief and The Sunshine Makers. Special showings: Dreaming, We're Awake, the new propagation film. Slide-shows, too, at the Travelodge throughout the day.
At the Carlton in six of the convention rooms, each conducted by a mahatma. By ticket only. Get tickets at the special booth on the field and check the beginning time for each review. You must arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled time. All day from 11 am to 4 pm.
What We Did Today
Now, perhaps you have just finished reading this guide and you are not so sure what you want to do. Here is a story about what we did today and the awareness that we did it in. (Don't let it disturb you that Today has not happened yet; we are plugged into sources beyond the ordinary news wire.)
Arriving on Thursday from Los Angeles, we were glad to have an extra half a day snooze and relax in our hotel room while we adjusted to the time difference. Friday morning. We got up to the lovely music of the Hans Jayanti Wandering Minstrels who were, as you might imagine, wandering through the halls of the hotel we were staying at, singing and playing guitar ever-so-softly.
Studying the day's program, we thought that the first thing that we'd do was look up an old friend, Doug Bernard, who's here as the festival program coordinator. "If anybody knows what is worth seeing in all these activities, he certainly will," we thought, and began to make our way to the "Program Information Booth" located near the Solage Hotel. Sure enough, that's where he was. He was sitting in a little corner of the little booth, surrounded by about 10 or 15 musicians, actors and other people of an undefined affiliation. We made our way to the front of the crowd and after exchanging hugs and kisses all around, we asked him, "OK, so what's good? What should we see?"
"Well," Doug began with a deep breath, "the way I look at it, where you are is where it's at. There's nothing to miss except your breath. This sort of view brings everything down to a more manageable level. Then you see that there isn't really so much going on after all, in fact there is really only one thing going on."
Just then, the people in the booth next to Doug's yelled for him loudly. "Jiva's on the phone. They've got a flat tire way in the back of the grounds and they're on the main stage in ten minutes. Come talk to them quick!"
Doug grabbed the phone and started talking. From the look on his face we could see that even now he was taking the advice he had given us. Though he might not have a minute to go to any of the particular festival events, he indeed was having a wonderful time at the festival. Just as we were leaving we caught one last look at Doug as he jumped into a car to get the spare tire. He meditated a moment before leaving, then, looking up at us, he winked and was on his way.
As it turned out, we ended up seeing the movies, one right after another, took in the "Kick-off" satsang program, and then spent the rest of the day having satsang poolside with another old friend, Justine. You'll see the results of that interview in the Sunday Gazette.
Cornplanter is the down-to-earth name of Divine Light Mission's foremost anarchist. He isn't actually an anarchist in the traditional sense, but people often accuse him of having a certain affection for disorder. But, as he will be the first to admit, just because he is often surrounded by it doesn't mean that he likes it.
Cornplanter is really just a very honest person with very high standards for how things should go. When something is wrong he lets you know in no uncertain terms.
Not too long ago we spoke to Cornplanter who told us this positively premie story about something he realized in a very "down" time. To get the full flavor of the story you need a little background about the particular disorder that Cornplanter was immersed in at that time. Picture him standing in the February snows on a little island off the coast of Washington State. Under his feet lies the farm that he had donated to the Mission over a year before. He is hungry, broke and bills are mounting even faster than snow. He feels resentful – temporarily lost on some long obscure assets inventory list at the national HQ.
Mad, but still hungry, he makes his way into Seattle where visiting Mahatma Rajeshwar is giving one of his famous dinners. Here is Cornplanter's story:
"The dinner was on the shore of Lake Washington and I had to go because it was free. Needless to say, I didn't enjoy myself. I refused to play any games. Hardly talked to anyone. After dinner, we heard what I considered to be the most boring satsang of my life. Then Mahatma Rajeshwar spoke and spoke. And spoke. I wanted to go home but my ride wouldn't leave until satsang was over. None of the satsang had anything to do with my problems and it went on for four hours.
"When it was finally over, I noticed one thing… I was smiling. I was furious. I said, 'No, this can't be,' and tried to remember how down I was. But as hard as I tried to keep them down, the corners of my mouth kept turning up. That caused me to think (something that I'm good at) and gradually, over the next few hours, as I stopped being high, I realized that I could be high no matter what my problems are. I resolved to maintain that high instead of concentrating on my troubles."
"Happily, now I can report to you that from that time on, I have had much more ease in confronting my problems whether they are with the farm or in my personal life. Though to this day, these troubles still exist, I feel that they are less important, because they have no bearing on my inner happiness."
As an after-note, Cornplanter is no longer living on the farm, but has taken up residence on the mainland where he is finally having the time to pursue a long love of his – the study of classical music and composition. *
As far back as anyone remembers, Richard Keeney has always been a very busy man. He roars through his life with enough energy for three ordinary people, five good ideas for every space where one is needed and a heart as good as gold.
Recent months have been no exception. Richard is employed supervising five people doing routine maintenance and construction in the homes of the elderly poor around his native Boston. After hours and on weekends, Richard is also busy with social service work running a small emergency furniture warehouse out of his basement. More than this, he and several other premies have been producing "satsang programs on tape" for a local public access cable TV station. Richard also has a family which he says "is a pretty big project in itself."
The biggest problem that a premie like Richard runs into is becoming overextended. "But we have a new feeling now," Richard reflected with that slower, softer voice that premies take on when they are about to lapse into satsang. "We don't want to get into all these projects so much anymore. What we want is to really have that connection with the well of inspiration and direction inside. In fact, me and some of my friends are feeling this so much that sometimes when things don't happen, we don't push them. Our standards are going up. We'd rather wait and make sure that things are based in that experience, forsake immediate results so that we can be stronger later."
"It is as though," Richard continued, "we already have realized everything and what remains is for us to get into it more and more. Really, once you have felt the Word, seen light, tasted nectar, and heard music, what else is there to know? So I'm just shooting for that 100% contact."
But, don't let this sober attitude fool you. Richard isn't any less active. Now he's just doing more meditation while he's roaring around, and averaging one good idea for every situation where one is needed.
"This is a breakthrough!" proclaimed Barbara Kolodney, manager of DLM's Research Department in Denver. "We are very excited to announce these findings. One of the most important parts of research is knowing what has already been done. These statistics are so packed with significance that premies should read the names of the record holders aloud for the full impact of the message."
Divine Light Mission Records
Longest continuous satsang – delivered by Mahatma Rambulonanand at a festival in India, August 1958. Total time … 37 hours, 49 minutes. The text ranged through the four Vedas, the 108 Upanishads, the Bible, the Koran, the Torah and an Indian translation of Gone With the Wind. There were two people remaining in attendance at the conclusion, although it should be noted that one had left his body after the first 20 hours, and the other one was Mahatma Ji's doting mother.
Most service changes – Lewis S. Marbles, as of Oct. 1975, had performed 362 different services in 17 different ashrams, including housemother, housefather, WPC, PLA, WWA, IRT and his current outside job as an organic prune picker. Lewis said that he was still looking for the service he could really plug into.
Most reincarnated dish in a communal household – spinach, verified by several observers. The spinach appeared 17 times over a 22-day period in forms including casseroles, sandwiches, sauces, soups, and smoothies. As a result, 4 people left the household, one graciously telling the housemother one more thing she could do with spinach.
For any information about the program schedule or who's playing where, when (especially if it means you) go to the Program Information Center
In desperate need of a tune-up???
You'll also need a ticket for your Knowledge Review -
Look for special booths on the main field
(No ticket – no tune-up!)
One of the special features of today's festival events is Tim Gallwey's "Inner Game Workshop" where he is going to have premies right out on the field trying out some of the excerises he has developed to teach people new age tennis. Tim, you may remember, was the "tennis professional" in the Who Is Guru MaharajJi? movie. Since that time his book, The Inner Game Of Tennis, has been published by Random House and this new approach to tennis is being written about in magazines throughout the country. One article in Psychology Today quoted a conversation Tim had with author Adam Smith. Tim tells Adam: "Our biggest problem is ego, trying too hard. We know how to play perfect tennis. Perfect tennis is within all of us … The body is sophisticated; its computer commands hundreds of muscles instantly; it's wise about itself; the ego isn't. Higher consciousness isn't a mystical term. You see more when more of your energy runs in the same direction. Concentration produces joy so we look for things that will quiet the mind."
Subtle, huh? Look for Tim on the main stage this afternoon.
Making the Connection
Last year at this time Guru Maharaj Ji had just given the Paramount Sat-sang. Sitting in the audience, the thing that struck me the most was when Maharaj Ji said the car is stalled and that in order for it to go all the premies needed to push. But don't worry, he said, once it gets going, I'll leave the clutch up at the right time and I'll have you all jump in the truck and I'll take all of you. It was a wonderful image me and all the kids sitting in the back smiling with the wind blowing in our faces and Dad in the front driving. What better way to get that family feeling? At the Paramount Satsang, Maharaj Ji also let on that Hans Jayanti '74 would be in Toronto, with regional festivals in different places around the United States.
Most premies who didn't make it to Toronto found themselves spending their Hans Jayanti evenings huddled with all the other stay-at-home premies listening to their crackly PA for a live broadcast of Guru Maharaj Ji's satsang phoned in from Canada. These audio-feeds must have made the hair on the back of a lot of premie necks ripple. Not only because they brought our Lord's voice into our ears live, but also they gave a real feeling for the unity of the family around the country. As the local premie sound teams hooked it all up before Maharaj Ji spoke, you could hear premies talking to each other in the different cities where the feed was going. As a city became tied in to the main sender in Toronto you could hear things like: "Denver here." "Jai Satchitanand, are you connected?" And the voice would come back, "We're meditating but we can't hear
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Toronto." After a little satsang on the intracacies of telephone insides was shared, the delighted premies in Los Angeles would announce that they too were now connected.
The audio-feeds were a kind of trial run for the next thing Maharaj Ji did to strengthen the connection among all of us. When Durga Ji was in labor at Premlata's birth, Maharaj Ji asked all the premies all over the world to meditate together so that they could share in the experience of the birth. That day, March 9th, was a rainy Sunday in our town. After Premlata was born all the premies left their houses and began to go visiting each other to share the deep calm bliss that they were feeling. In the streets, empty because of the spring rain, premies met hugging and laughing – happy knowing Maharaj Ji was a father and we had a new sister.
At Holi festival we were back to the more earthbound dependence on the electronics of the audio-feed to connect us. Maharaj Ji made the mysterious statement that there was a big tour coming up and that from now on he would be giving a lot of programs. Soon, everybody knew what this meant: Maharaj Ji, Durga Ji and the one month old Premlata shortly thereafter left for India to firm up the connection of the Indian devotees.
It wasn't just India that Maharaj Ji visited. He made a circle tour of the whole East, including a visit to dear old Hong Kong. In May he was back in the States. After resting for only a few days, he invited all the premies in driving distance to his home for a big party. Then just a few weeks later he had another party in Boulder, Colo. One of the first things Maharaj Ji said at the Boulder party was that he wanted everyone to have a good time. "Everybody boogie," he said. What great agya, I thought, and zoomed into wild circle dances with a thousand other premies.
We called these "welcome home" parties. But they really weren't. No country can claim to be home for Maharaj Ji. No sooner than a blink Maharaj Ji was off again, beckoned to Venezuela by the Latin side of the family. At this time, Maharaj Ji officially said that Guru Puja can be any time but November 6-10. At home again for regional GPs, I was especially happy to hear the tape of Guru Maharaj Ji's Dr. Lord satsang, including the South American premies singing arti to Maharaj Ji. Their devotion and love was so clear it made me and many of the other premies gathered in the auditorium cry. It is so obvious at these times of international closeness how really possible it is for love to bring all people together. I got the same feeling more recently seeing the slide show that was made of the European Guru Puja.
Now we have come back round again. It's Hans Jayanti time and we are here, lucky enough to be connected in the most basic way. Tonight we will all be sitting together listening to satsang and having the darshan of our Guru Maharaj Ji – happy kids in the truck with Dad.
Kim Cantor, photographer, kept his eyes and heart opened wherever he went. On the sidewalk, fragments of green glass caught the sunlight, fragments of brown glass caught the sun. Above him the sky was a clear blue, and the sunlight made a halo around every blossom on the apple trees, on the cherry trees. Soft focus, a thousandth at f/4. A perfect Californian model of a day.
Cantor's eyes/brain were the most perfect camera ever devised. He was a walking artform, a genius in an unknown field. Trained at Rochester in the sixties, he concentrated on illustration and the photography of the very small. He experimented with field ion microscopes, gamma ray radiographs, he dabbled with laser holography. He also practiced visualization techniques, to sharpen his visual sense: and it was during the course of a meditation exercise that his soon-to-bephenomenal power made its first appearance. What Kim Cantor saw in his mind's eye, his intense concentration could transmit in great detail onto a photographic plate.
Ted Serios had been the first to be credited with this type of ability, back in the sixties while Kim was still in school. But his aptitude was unfocused, sporadic, dull. Kim brought his sense of design, his color sense, his imagination into the picture. He could choose exactly what he wanted to see, and then crystalize it. He worked with fashion models, landscapes, everyday objects. He tried his hand at phototypesetting, and produced a widely acclaimed "slim volume of verse" in which words and visual images overlapped. He studied the nature of Kirlian photography, and assisted the medics at Maimonides for a while, working in parallel with their Hermes IV diagnostic computer. Kim Cantor was unique, gifted, wildly given to enthusiasm, and sullen when crossed. He worked keenly on projects that interested him, balked at immensely lucrative offers when he felt a project was not in the interests of humanity, or (worse) bored him. The Government offered him a high altitude position aboard an orbital spy satellite: over espresso with a General at Serendipity, he turned the offer down. MIT wanted him. He felt Stanford was more his kind of place.
He reached the corner of Van Ness, turned in at the wrought iron gates, sprinted up the steps into the Moorish garden, pressed on the doorbell and caught his breath.
The door opened. Kim was ushered smoothly through several rooms of varied chrome/glass/leather furnishings, Arp and Klee prints, and down a corridor punctuated with plaques such as Visual Display, Coffee Source, Audio Synch, Key Punch, Math Source, Type Pool, ending on the sole human note: Doctor Leon.
Doctor Edgar Leon needs a lot of introduction. Most of it should take the form of four dimensional tunnels between three dimensional spaces. Difficult to express without a web-variant display screen, and impossible in words. Suffice to say Dr. Leon opened time up as Albert Einstein opened space.
Edgar Leon meets Kim Cantor. Their fields meet.
Cantor is the first to grin. Dr. Leon claps him on the shoulder, leads him to a chair.
"D'you want me to talk about it for a while, or shall we get right into it? You've brought all the equipment you'll need, I hope? We shall be monitoring your sub-vocals, EEG, the standard tests, but I'd imagine you'd want some records of your own."
"Yes indeed, Doctor," said Cantor. "I guess I'm as keen to get started as you must be. But I don't want to rush into this, all the same. I've brought my things, nothing special. A few sheets of emulsion, a tape machine. That won't be allowed inside the cage, will it?"
"We'll run it off the mixer in the control room for you. The paper you'll keep with you, of course. Our previous experimenters hardly stirred in their chairs, (maybe the straps had something to do with that), but they did speak quite clearly, and we got some very interesting material. But there was far too much to say, and not very long to say it in. We haven't got time licked yet."
"Okay, Doctor. I'm ready when you are. Just give me five minutes to center myself after you hook me up, and we'll be away!"
"This way then, Cantor."
And he led him into the time room.
Cantor settled into the chair, rested his head back on the headrest while the electrodes were applied and taped in place, and the mikes positioned. Leon kept up a stream of conversation:
"It's a sort of holographic principle, I suppose you'd say. You did some work in that area, didn't you? The secret is that every part contains a complete record of the whole. Once we discovered that the breath was the actual seat of consciousness, the rest fell into place in no time. Every breath is a part of the original expansion and contraction of the universe, so every breath contains a full and clear picture of every other breath ever taken by any living creature. All we have to do is decide whose breathing we want you to be conscious of, and then send you there. You visit their breath inside your own, so there's no question of leaving the body or anything like that. It's very simple, and I think you'll find it delightful. I went once myself. Nowhere too exaggerated, of course. I was a blade of grass for a while. No concepts there. Very restful. I'm going into the other room now, so center in on your breath, and you'll find yourself floating. There shouldn't be any problems…"
to be continued
In tomorrow's episode, Kim Cantor's awareness is projected into the consciousness of Nuri Nuruddin, a disciple of Attar, the twelfth century muslim poet-saint.
An Astrological Forecast for Hans Jayanti 1975 (by Fred McDonald)
The Sun enters the fifteenth degree of Scorpio on the eighth of November, accentuating the midpoint of both the sign and the festival. This is a "karmic degree" and has been called an "avenue of the avatars". Symbolically speaking, this position emphasizes the development of consciousness and points to a future-oriented growth cycle, to the mind seeking to be attuned to a higher vibrational frequency, and to a deepening desire for spiritual development.
Scorpio is the predominant sign in the chart as a whole. It is ruled by distant Pluto and is where Uranus lies presently exalted. The Sun in Scorpio brings creative energy into the life and works to revitalize the spirit. Scorpio is the sign of mystery and the mystic, and it is also the death sign. It represents the field in which the struggle between the soul and the personality must be fought. Ultimately, the personal ego must die so that true self-realization can be attained.
Cosmically and psychically, the circumstances surrounding the festival are positive, beneficial and peaceful. Mars is the focal point in two trines, one to Uranus and the other by Mercury. These trines provide a supportive environment that reinforces self-examination, as the mind will be alert, clever, and extremely perceptive. This atmosphere is conducive to fresh insights into personal problems, emotional confusions and particular patterns of suffering.
Overall, the configuration of planets forms a bucket, with Jupiter in Aries as the handle. This figure denotes both inspiration and instruction by a spiritual guide or teacher. The spiritual master has acquired divine wisdom through his great experience and depth of understanding, and he will pour forth the fruits of his experience with unremitting fervor. Symbolically, Jupiter's position indicates a revitalization, a renewal of potentiality and of potency, a process that entails becoming as a little child.
In Scorpio, Uranus occupies a very powerful and volatile position. Its purpose here is to promote an extreme polarization in outlook and involvement, bringing intense dislocations and extensive alterations in human relationships. The pivot of the polarization hinges on the will: whether self-will or the universal will. Soon the choice must be made to either serve the personal self or the universal self, for regeneration is ultimately unavoidable.
The conjunction between Mercury and Uranus is the most profound single aspect currently operating. Mercury represents the conscious mind and the calculating intellect, while Uranus augers unpredictable cosmic forces intent on ushering radical changes into human society. This particular conjunction signals a change in direction, an unexpected turn in the life that will alter an individual's circumstances. Uranus acts to shatter conceptions and to uproot habits, transforming character and personality. It promises a higher form
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of freedom through the surrender of the will to a higher, spiritual aim. By vibrational attunement, the lower, perceptual mind can be immersed into the higher, intuitive mind; a blending or merging of one into the other, producing spiritual upliftment. This process will be manifesting in the form of momentary flashes of insight, accurate intuitions, unusual mental clarity, or profound spiritual realizations.
Neptune. now in Sagittarius, will form an exact sextile with Pluto during the end of the festival. Neptune seeks to illuminate by inspiration, providing the opportunity for spiritual initiation, and a regeneration of the spirit or rebirth of the soul. This sextile will encourage the desire to know more about mystical, psychical, and occult knowledge in general, for it promotes a spiritual awakening.
The Moon travels swiftly through all of Capricorn and into Aquarius during the festival period, setting up several challenging aspects to the heavier planets. These planetary aspects will be rough on some people, but they provide the opportunity to see afresh some old patterns of thought and action. For the attentive and centered, this is a chance to look with detachment and see with a new understanding what really controls your behavior and stimulates your desires.
It is popularly supposed that spirituality first broke into sports with the Inner Game of Tennis, Joe Namath's dramatic conversion to TM or the humility of Mohammed Ali which led to the great reforms in boxing. But actually there was someone who had a vision, and the courage to pursue it. He saw what sports could truly be and we are wonderfully fortunate that he has decided to share with us the fruits of his long search and struggle. For this is indeed the father of the New World Games of which we are now speaking.
So great is his dedication, so deep is his commitment to this cause to which he has dedicated his life, that he insists on anonymity, desiring that all attention be given to the games themselves.
Once a major league baseball star, and a close personal confidant of such sports greats as Casey Stengel, Knute Rockne, and Dwight Eisenhower, he says that he was like any other athlete, seeking name and fame and all the fleeting satisfactions of the sports world, until one day when fate stepped in. Going back for a deep fly to left, he slipped on an autographed picture of himself, and the ball hit him right on the forehead.
"Time stopped," he recalled. "I saw all the games I had ever played in my life flash before me, and I realized that my lifetime batting average was lousy. Then, suddenly, I heard a voice. It seemed to come from everywhere, and it was saying 'that error cost us the game, you dope.' But then there was another voice coming up from deep within me but I couldn't hear what it was saying."
So when he recovered he set out on his search for A Better Game.
"Forty-three man squamish* was the start. It was the thing that indicated to me that there could be more than baseball," B. (as we shall call him) confided in us. "Although I always really appreciated jousting and some other medieval games which are now, sadly, lost to us."
"Then one day I was out playing in the wind, kicking this sack around, and I was trying to figure out if there were games that you could play against nature, like playing against the wind or against a river. Then I really got into it. I started communicating with game enthusiasts from all over the world. And I discovered that there was a wave of game consciousness springing up everywhere, that, in fact the art of games is not dead, that it is a growing art."
"This was the point in time that I invented some of the games that will be played at the festival. But the next thing that happened to me really changed everything. I realized that there was no need for competition."
"So what do you do now?" we asked.
"I just play!" and with that he laughed and ran out the door.
* a game proposed by Mad Magazine
New World Games can be found at 10:30 a.m. on Friday on the New World Game Field to the right of the main stage.
I have been to every Hans Jayanti Festival since 1971, in India, where Maharaj Ji gave a simply splendid satsang. Unfortunately, the majority of the text was in Hindi and I didn't understand a word of it. Now things are much better.
I'm delighted to see that some of the music and plays we'll be having over these three days will be absolutely divine. Mind you, I wasn't at all of the openings this year due to a simply nasty cold, but I have had some sneak peeks at the new productions and they are wild.
To start with, there is this lively band from Washington, D.C., called Milk'n'Honey. (I think that is such a cute name, don't you?) Their lead singer is a little darling named Alla. I knew Alla in '71 when she wrote "Palm of My Hand", one of the "toons" that they do. The guitar player who we call "Fuzz-
nasty cold, but I have had some sneak peeks at the new productions and they are wild.
To start with, there is this lively band from Washington, D.C., called Milk'n'Honey. (I think that is such a cute name, don't you?)Their lead singer is a little darling named Alla. I knew Alla in '71 when she wrote "Palm of My Hand", one of the "toons" that they do. The guitar player in Milk'n'Honey, who we call "Fuzz-bee", wrote me a sweet little letter about another one of their favorite numbers. As he was telling me, it can easily be sung by 10 to 10,000 people with no problem. It's an uptempo rocker with the main theme being, "everybody knew he'd be coming, but nobody knew he'd have a rock'n'roll band." All in all, I think the kids deserve the first Maxine Starr "Four Star" rating: Milk'n'Honey ****
Four Star ratings are not easy to come by. Another show that I think really rates is the Boston PLA extravaganza, The Hotel. You will probably all read about it in the Divine Times, where Charlotte Wimbleton wrote a review of it. That this play is a Four Star hit is one of the only things that Charlotte and I can agree on. For instance, as you will read in her column today, she just loves Doug McGinnis' new play, The Hermit. Well, I have a totally different opinion. Don't get me wrong, I love Doug dearly, and I think that you must have seen us together at the social event of the year, Maharaj Ji's Hidden Valley party in Boulder – but, frankly, I think the play stinks. Doug has gone too far with this one. Premies have no place in serious drama. We took Knowledge to get away from all that, and now Charlotte wants to go back. I think it's just plain dumb. You know, as I often say, this life is a melodrama. We make it a drama and Maharaj Ji makes it mellow. The Hotel, however, presents the best of all worlds. The Hotel ****
Next are the movies. Many of you have probably seen The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao, but for those poor souls who haven't – and for those of us who would like to view it again and again it will be playing several times this weekend. (Featured with it is a mysterious "Surprise Flick"). Don't miss this one – the most acclaimed Director around (whom we all know and love) highly endorsed it. Dr Lao -**
Dreaming, We're Awake is a new propagation movie that's having its world premiere here at Hans Jayanti. I never liked that title, but as I said before, I was able to get a sneak peek at this movie in the viewing room in Denver and I think it's a smash. Of course, Charlotte may not like it, but then she doesn't know anything about the subtleties of propagation. Dreaming, We're Awake ***
Family of Love, the new darshan film with footage of Maharaj Ji's wedding, is absolutely out of this world. It had me in fits of weeping, blissful weeping. However I would like to note that this, in my opinion, can be credited to Maharaj Ji, Durga Ji and Premlata for their kind sharing of their family life. Four stars for Family of Love ****
Last, but certainly not least, I would like to mention a new band that has just recently burst into prominence. Known as Buster Friendly &His Friendly Friends, they'll be playing the Sunday afternoon public program before Maharaj Ji speaks – and I can guarantee they're a crowd pleaser That "Stevie Wonder" sound of theirs had me ten zillion light years away, on my feet dancing after the first two bars. Buster Friendly ***
(on special assignment from The Boston Social Register)
Traditionally, premie drama has been dominated by productions with sweet themes. Fantasy work has received all the acclaim. Personally, I have been waiting for a trend to change and for premie drama to reflect the more grown-up side of realization.
A new premie play called The Hermit is one of the first works to attempt this difficult end.
The Hermit is a Western set in the 1850's. The plot is woven around a man and his estranged wife and their interaction with a theatre group called The Ghost Town Players.
The central theme, according to premie author Doug McGinnis, is that "when you look for love outside, terrible suffering comes to you. Yet love is something that you have got to, got to have. So, people eventually learn to find it inside themselves."
Describing different characters in the play, Doug often winced a little when he spoke, as if he was remembering friends from a less happy period in his life. Talking about the play, he said, "This is something new in premie productions. In it, we make a real attempt to honestly show emotion. It's heavy sometimes. But I think that the test of a group of actors or of a director is their ability to do serious drama and make it seem real. This is our first try."
"Another thing about The Hermit," Doug continued, "is that it is a musical. A serious musical. But music can be used to create a serious mood too. It's just something that hasn't been explored much yet."
Tommy Hancock, who some of you may recognize as the talented fiddler in the Supernatural Family Band, is playing the lead role of Abe, the head of The Ghost Town Players. His physical appearance – large grey beard and strong frame – suit the role well. Doug himself acts as the musical director.
Since this sort of production serious portrayal of people without Knowledge – is a new area for most premie actors, Hermit stage director, Carl Preston, has engaged the cast in a unique method of rehearsals. Without letting them in on the details of the script, he has described the different characters to them and then has asked them to perform a series of "characterization exercises" to help them get a feel for the particular ways a person like that might behave in different situations.
All in all, The Hermit is a very ambitious project which deserves your attention at Hans Jayanti. This foray into "serious theatre" may open up a whole new field for premie performers throughout the country, as other troupes will no doubt want to try their hand at this and other musical dramas.
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