• Embarking on a digital quest through the vast citadels of Google and beyond, an ancient relic was unearthed: the revered "export" scroll dated September 5, 2014. Rejoice, for the chronicles thought lost have been found. Welcome back to the complete tapestry of TTI.

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I was born and brought up in the Highlands of Scotland. As a boy I remember well the many psychic experiences which began for me at the early age of seven years. The invisible world, from which only a veil separates us, was as clear to me as the physical, for I was born with this gift, if one could call it a gift, and I am sure that all have it, though they know it not.

I would relate some of these experiences to my parents, and what I knew, but they did no encourage me - I was too accurate for most people’s liking! When I was quite young and going to school, some books came into my possession, yet I do not know how. They were books of the ancient Yoga and you may think it strange, but I seemed to know and understand with a clarity that amazed my elders. Yet there was something these books could not tell me. I could not explain what it was.

But now, when I look back, I must have known what it was. The fact was, these books gave me only an idea, but an idea is not the thing itself, and I have since realized this fully.

The word “Life” or the idea of Life is not Life; neither is the word “God” God. Every preacher and teacher is trying to tell you what Life is, yet they can give you only an idea of It, and that is not Life. It is because we have so many different ideas that we have so much separation and strife in religion, groups and nationalities in the world today. I was about seven years old when I saw the face of the Master Jesus. It was a living face animated with Life, not the reflection of a picture that my senses could have seen from a book or reproduction. It was alive and living just like you and me.

The effect on me was too much, and I was put to bed and lived on rum and milk with a beaten-up egg in it. This was my only food. The doctor said my heart had moved two inches out of its place. This bed business was boring me to tears, when one morning I heard a voice saying,

“Get up! Go outside, run and jump!” I did so and was well from that moment . This convinced me more than ever that there was no death, that others besides those in the physical were alive, and I was determined to find out more about it. What amazed the doctors was that I was one hundred per cent fit from that very moment.

It was after this that I found that I could jump from a great height and hold myself almost in mid-air and come down lightly on my toes. Although I could not yet understand the meaning of it all, I had read about it in the Yoga books which were my treasured possessions. I read how the Yogi could levitate themselves, and I must have been doing something similar without a knowledge of the methods used.

The many things I did fearlessly caused my parents very many anxious moments. Although they knew I was different from the others, yet their anxiety about me still remained and I was very conscious of this fact. The winter nights were a great pleasure to me. I used to sit in front of the huge log fire in our ancestral home, my right foot always on the railing in front of the fire and my jacket on the back of my chair. In my boyhood days, I always wore Scotland’s national dress, the comfortable kilt, up to the age of fifteen years, and often wore it at the Highland games in which I took part whenever the opportunity arose.

Above the mantelpiece hung the great claymore that my forefathers had fought with in many battles, including the battle of Culloden Moor. On both sides of the mantelpiece were swords and pistols that the Clan MacDonald had used in their raids on the Lowlands and over the English border.

I would listen intently to my father telling us of the many stories of adventure of the MacDonald clan, he would also relate some of his own adventures, for he had visited many foreign lands and we used to listen to these stories over and over again. I never tired of them and they fostered in me that wanderlust, coupled with my mind’s desire for knowledge, that was to lead me away into so many parts of the world. As I grew older this passion grew stronger and stronger. I began to spread my wings to take flight to distant lands. All Scotch people are adamant that their children should have a good education, so I was sent to the university and though I studied medicine it had no appeal for me; it was like treating some dead thing, when I knew that Life was the only living power. Yet this background helped me later in my work of healing all over the world. Some of the miraculous results I will explain later in another book. I made up my mind to go to India, and there I found the Yogi and gained a great deal of wisdom and knowledge, but I was not yet satisfied, even though it was leading me to the goal I desired. Although I had visited India several times I was still not satisfied.

I sailed up the Persian Gulf to Basra. From there I trekked up the Tigris River and crossed over the desert to the Euphrates. I lived with the Arabs and roamed the ancient city of Baghdad with all its picturesque mosques and minarets, explored the ancient ruins of Babylon, and searched ancient Persia and Palestine for relics of old Bible stories. When the first World War came in 1914 I joined a Highland Regiment, became a commissioned officer and was awarded the Military Cross, also a foreign decoration for saving life under gun-fire and was wounded four times in doing so. After the war I again went to India, through China and Japan. I went to French Indo-China where I explored the ancient Cambodian ruins of a civilization that seemed to have disappeared overnight and left behind magnificent relics as the only evidence of its existence.

I then crossed Canada from east to west and west to east, motored more than six thousand miles in the United States and visited Mexico and South America. I trekked through Africa and explored the ancient ruins of Zimbabwe in Rhodesia where, it is said, a civilization existed four thousand years ago, and around which Rider Haggard wrote his books She and King Solomon’s Mines. Similar ruins have been found in Brazil and I think that the similarity of the ruins point to something in common. Some day our archaeologists may throw some light on the origin of this ancient civilization.

I retraced the steps of Livingstone and Stanley and explored the Zambezi River above the mighty Victoria Falls. I studied the ruins of ancient Egypt and visited most places in Europe, also traveled through Australia and New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands. I traveled to the four corners of the earth and sailed the seven seas. I did healing and teaching all over the world and became well-known on the four continents, but the greatest adventure of my life had not yet been fulfilled - my journey into the forbidden land of mysterious Tibet, the roof of the world.

I had a unique experience. Already I had given up hope of ever reaching my goal and then a figure appeared to me telling me to go to Africa, from where I would again go to India. The figure gave me all details of the route I should take, telling me that I would be met by someone who would guide me in person beyond the Himalayas.

(This interesting and extraordinary incident comes back to mind, and I must relate it because it has a bearing on what followed. I had just come away from Tibet and was giving my first lecture in Montreal, Canada. It happened like this. I had been lecturing for about half-an hour, everyone was seated, and the doors were closed. Mrs. Chisholm and the ushers were standing in the foyer outside, when the figure of a man appeared as from nowhere and said: “Tell him I am pleased he has done what I asked of him.” No sooner than the words were said the figure disappeared. This was seen by several people. I knew the answer, but they did not. Some are still talking about this experience; only the other day I had a letter from a lady in Montreal who was there when the incident took place and she referred to it in her letter.)

You can well imagine the excitement that set my heart beating as the ship Inchanga sailed up the Hoogli River into Calcutta (this ship I had boarded at Durban, South Africa). The great moment was near, and though this was the fifth time I had been to India there was something new and fresh about it. To meet someone I had never seen in the flesh was a thrilling anticipation.

As the ship drew into the wharf the babbling voices of hundreds of coolies drowned my conversation with the people around me. I lost no time in getting ashore, and I was soon surrounded by dozens of willing hands mostly looking for rupees and annas. But having been to India several times I had learned their ways and was able to speak in a language they understood. I searched all round, looking for someone to recognize me, and as no one appeared I was crestfallen. Was all this a hoax, I wondered? After most of the passengers had left I got my own luggage on its way and proceeded to the Grand Hotel situated in the Chowringee, opposite the Calcutta Domain.

I settled there for a few days and visited my old friends Swami Yogananda and Swami Ramana, also a few more of the Yogi I knew. I discussed my problems with them and they advised me not to give up but to go on over the Himalayas and beyond if necessary, and I was sure to meet the one who spoke to me.

So in the afternoon I took a taxi to the railway station to arrange my train transport to Siliguri in northern Bengal, the furthest point to which the main railway goes towards the Great Himalayas.

The taxi-driver, a Sikh with an angelic face, regarded me as a raw tourist and was taking me for a ride, for he proceeded in the opposite direction. I knew his game and decided to teach him a lesson. So when we finally reached the station he said, “Five rupees, Sahib!” I handed him two rupees, which was more than the normal fare, and I told him in his own language that he was lucky I did not report him for his was a serious offence. You should have seen his face! The angelic look disappeared, and without a murmur, disgusted with himself, he drove off.

In the evening I visited a Colonel friend of mine who was with me when I was attached to the Indian Army. He was a student of the deeper things of Life and we had enjoyed a close friendship till he passed from this earth into the higher Life. Since he passed he has no doubt satisfied his deep desire for greater wisdom and knowledge.

He put on mufti (civilian clothes) and we went down to the Bhodi Institute, a select Indian club, where the Hindu professors, doctors, Yogi and the like congregated. My friend, Professor Shastra, a professor in the Calcutta University, was giving an address on Ancient Sanskrit, on which he was considered the greatest authority in the world. Ancient Sanskrit is the writing of an Ancient Indian culture seemingly far in advance of any of our culture in the West, even today. It was not long before I was recognized and after the address I was immediately invited to the platform and was asked to give an account of my wanderings since I was last in their midst and what I was doing now. So I told them, and I must say that their interest was profound.

Some of the great Indian teachers were there, including Sri Aurobindo (of whom I wrote in my book Spiritual and Mental Healing), Swami Yogananda, Swami Ramana the great Indian scientist, Tagore India’s national poet, and the great Gandhi himself, besides many more of India’s leading lights.

My Colonel friend turned to me and said, “I abhor the inflated idea of superiority of some of our own people here in India which prevents them from understanding the higher things of Life, and when they leave they are even more inflated, but only with their own ignorance unfortunately, which goes to show the depraved state of their immature mentality. In the world it is the humble that are great, and we only become humble when we begin to get wisdom, and when we acquire wisdom we are humbler still. This germ of greatness must be born in the forthcoming generation or we are doomed to complete oblivion.” I agreed with him and so do all right-thinking people.

Two days later I took my departure from Calcutta in the train bound for Siliguri. You have to keep your carriage doors locked on the inside, otherwise your compartment will be overrun with all kinds of people, notwithstanding the fact that you have your compartment reserved, and a notice to that effect displayed on the outside. This, however, makes no difference to the travelling mob, and it is a most difficult job to get them out once they get in. When I reached Siliguri, the end of the main railway to northern Bengal, I saw the little mountain railway train that would take me further on towards the Himalayas. As I changed from one train to the other I sensed a nasty smell, and on looking round I saw a leper holding out what were at one time hands, now covered in dirty sacking. Lepers were not allowed to come nearer than within three feet of you.

I took pity on the leper and handed him a rupee, when an Indian policeman came along and hit him with his cane. I remonstrated him and said, “You are hitting yourself, do you know that?”

With an amazed look on his face, I left him wondering, and walked of, letting him think it out for himself.

Lepers today are mostly allowed their freedom; previously they were hounded down and placed in leper colonies. This sent many into hiding and they spread the disease. But now they are treated with injections of combination of chalmurga oil and other new drugs which have been very successful in the termination of the disease.

The little mountain railway carriages were only up to my shoulder; the tiny engine was painted green, and all the carriages were painted red. I had to bend down to enter in, and while sitting, my head touched the roof. One could hardly credit that such a tiny engine had power enough to draw about a dozen carriages behind it up very steep grades. My thoughts turned to the steam that made it possible. This thought made me realize that it is the Life that makes it possible for us to do all the things we do; the body has no power of its own, just as the engine has no power of its own. Thus I started off on a further stage of my journey. We crawled under viaducts making complete circles, looping the loop, crossing over the very viaduct that we crawled under about half-an-hour before, and still we crawled higher and higher up the mountainside. Zigzagging and looping the loop, we proceeded on our way till we reached about five thousand feet, where we stopped at a place called Gillikola, and here I got off. The train goes as far as Darjeeling, which is the main town in Nepal, and it is situated at the foot of the great Himalayas.

On the platform were waiting a number of sturdy little mountain women not more than four feet in height, each with a strap over her head, hanging over her shoulders and down her back. They immediately came forward and put the hanging strap under the heavy boxes and lifted them as if they were so many matchboxes.

I was amazed to see their strength, but I found it was a knack; the drag was across the forehead and over the shoulders, the weight resting on the back. I was told that one of these women carried a piano all the way from Kalimpong to Darjeeling, a matter of thirty-odd miles. I took the car I had ordered to meet me at Gillikola, and off we went, still climbing and zigzagging up the mountain till we reached Kalimpong. This town in the Himalayas is the starting point of the trade route between India, Sikkim and Tibet. From here everything is taken over road and tracks which become very narrow, in some parts not more than a few feet wide. In Kalimpong I found a motley crowd of people, Indians, Tibetans, people from Sikkim, people from Nepal, people from Bhutan, and quite a number of White people who were taking their holidays in the mountain air, away from the heat and the humidity of Calcutta. The hill states of Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan separate India from Tibet. So Kalimpong becomes even a more important town than Darjeeling, especially as the trade route starts there.

Here I gathered together my caravan, which included an interpreter, a personal bearer and bodyguard, a man who knew the ropes of all the brigands roaming the trade routes. I hired a Tibetan pony for myself, one for my interpreter, one for my bodyguard, and one for my Indian bearer, two mules as pack-animals and three porters.

All goods coming from and going to Tibet are carried on the backs of donkeys, mules and porters. From Kalimpong they are transported by road and rail to Calcutta, thence to other destinations. The tea that comes from Darjeeling is conveyed by the mountain railway to Siliguri, the on the main railway to Calcutta, then shipped to all parts of the world. In Kalimpong I met a namesake, a Mr. MacDonald who kept the Himalayan Hotel. He was half-Tibetan, the son of a Mr. MacDonald from Scotland, at one time British trade agent at Yatung in Tibet, and who had married a Tibetan woman. Mr. Macdonald and I became friends. He could speak Tibetan, Hindustani and English perfectly, and I got down to learning as much of Tibetan as I could in the time I was with him. I could already speak Hindustani and this helped quite a lot.

I had to wait in Kalimpong until my permit to enter Tibet arrived, and during this period I gave much thought to the stranger whom I was to meet. I anticipated that I would have to go as far as Tibet to find him. He had met me neither in Calcutta nor in Kalimpong when I arrived, but I considered it would be foolish to turn back. I must go on. Something inside me said, “You must go on.”

I had been there for three days when I was walking down towards the town from the house I was staying in. I saw a man dressed in a purple gown slightly more purple than the Lama cloak. I could not take my eyes off him, so much did he attract me.

He came straight up to me and said, “You have arrived, my son,” in perfect English. I was so taken aback that I could not speak at once, for I had no thought of being met at Kalimpong now, especially as I had not been met on my arrival. He put his right hand on my left shoulder and I felt as if I was charged with electricity.

Then he said, “I have been with you a long time, but you knew it not.” I knew those words, they had rung in my mind for a very long time. Then he revealed what he knew about me, the things I did and the things I should have done, and perhaps the things I should not have done, which after all, he explained, did not matter very much.

I knew that he must have been with me for a very long time because my life to him was an open book, and there was no use telling him where I had been. What I wanted most now was to try to let him know what I knew. So I began to discourse on philosophy and higher metaphysics. I went on for some time (I could not tell you how long, for time seemed to disappear) and he listened to me very quietly. I thought that I had made an impression, at least I would be worthy of his interest in me. Then he uttered these words:

“My son, it does not matter very much whether it is true or not, does it?”

If you had struck me with a sledgehammer I could not have been more stunned. Then I heard him say to me:

“I will see you tomorrow, my son, and all is being arranged for your journey. Everything is being taken care of.”

He then turned and went down the path, leaving me totally empty-that is what I was, empty!

I thought deeply about what he had said, in those few words, and it completely changed me. I could see that all I had, was made up in my mind. I had missed the greatest thing in my life - the Living Present. What I had, were mere words, ideas, images. What a fool I had been all these years.

And how thankful I was for those few words! I knew that at last I would find that for which I was seeking.

The following day he came early, with a smile of satisfaction, and said: “My son, I see that you have had your first lesson of the Truth that sets men free. You were bound, but now I see that you have begun to free yourself.” “But,” I said, “you did it!”

“Oh no,” he said, “my words could not have done it unless you were ready to receive.”

Then he said: “You will leave here a week today when your pass will arrive. I want you to go through the jungle, along by the Teesta River and up through Sikkim to Gangtok; I want you to have the experience of the jungle as well. From Gangtok you will cross the Natula Pass on into Yatung, the first town in Tibet. You will then have further instructions from me.”

That week in Kalimpong was one of great joy, a joy of anticipation. Only once did I see him before I left and I was determined to ask him one question. I said to him, “Meditation to be has been a difficult problem and I have found it so with others. Could you suggest any way I should meditate?” He said, “To know how to meditate is a very complex problem. To follow any system, whether it be East or West, is not meditation. If you follow a system you shape your mind according to a particular pattern and this is what you want to avoid.”

I said: “I know there is a lot of nonsense taught about meditation by those who know little or nothing about it.” “Yes, my son,” he said, “that is true, only too true, and you are one of them who tried to teach this nonsense.”

I was not hurt by his remark, because I knew how true it was. Then he said, “If you condition your mind you cannot be free; meditation must lead to freedom, for only the mind that is free can discover the truth. When you understand the process of your mind, which you will do as we proceed during these months ahead, you will find greater freedom”

(Months ahead! I had no idea of months ahead! But as a fact it was months before I came away, and I could have stayed beyond the Himalayas many more months.)

While I was thinking he seemed to stop and listen to my inaudible thoughts, I at once realized that he knew them. He smiled and then said, “There can be no freedom through the discipline of any system, for this would only make you more bound than you were before. Real meditation is to discover what is beyond the mind. A particular system prevents the mind from understanding, for it is merely self-hypnosis which is binding and destroying.”

Then he stopped while I began to rearrange my thoughts. I was the first to speak again, I said:

“Now I begin to see daylight.:

“Yes,” he went on, “in freedom alone is there true creativeness, and the mind must be clear of all beliefs, systems, and discipline, free of all conditioning of any kind. Then you can create through your own creativeness and not through the belief or idea of another, which only makes you an imitator. To be aware of the whole process of thinking, you will begin to know yourself and it is this which leads to freedom. If you merely have a belief or an idea then you can never know what is beyond it, but if you know what is a belief, what is an idea, then you can get beyond, and there you will find that which is Real, which is not an idea or a belief, but a Livingness that is Eternal and Ever-present.”

Yes, my mind was clearing. I was getting rid of my ideas, my beliefs, my philosophies. A cleansing was taking place and I knew it. How could I show my gratitude, that was my thought at that moment, when he uttered the words:

“Gratitude is the belief in separation, between yourself and Reality, but there is no separation. It is but the illusion of the mind that is caught up in separation, in beliefs, in ideas and the like.”

Then he said, “I have seen you sitting in a corner meditating, trying to focus your mind on an image or an idea to the exclusion of all else, but you were never successful in doing so. Is it not that other thoughts rose up in your mind to cause a conflict? There can never be a quiet in the midst of conflict! The conflict must cease before there is quiet. Quiet never comes out of conflict. It is only when you understand conflict, that conflict ceases. Quiet is the natural state of the mind that is not in conflict!

“Is it not so,” he went on, “that you spent much of your time and energy in this wasteful battle of conflict and gained nothing in the end? You produced mental pictures, but that was an illusion, not the meditation that leads to freedom and the discovery of that which is beyond the mind, which alone is creative.”

“Oh!” I thought; I drew a long breath, I felt the freedom I was looking for and his words rang in my mind, “It does not matter very much whether it is true or not.” I was trying to make an idea the Truth, to make Reality out of an idea, and it could not be done. Then he said, “Reality is not made up in the mind. Reality is. You do not make It. It comes into Being when your mind is freed and not before. Then you will know that your are the Truth, that you are Life itself.”

I now understood more than I had ever understood all the years of my life. I felt the joy of living in freedom. I could not put it into words-there was something Real that I could not define, but I knew that I was alive, that what I made up in my mind was not Reality. The Creativeness was within and now I could let it express Itself, and the more free I was from beliefs, from systems, from ideas, the greater It would become. I could see this now!

This was the joy, and I could not hold back. He saw it, for he said in his lovely voice: “Son, that is all there is.”

“Yes,” I said; “my meditation was merely a form of self-isolation in which I carried my private memories, my private experiences which were not understood. I know now that my mind could never be free from that conditioning until I understood it.”

“Yes,” he said, “may I put it this way, you were forcing your mind into a state of self-hypnosis by the constant repetition of words. But the mind that is forced into that state is dead. Real meditation is a true expression of Life. You only dulled your mind, and when the state ended your conditioning was more apparent, was it not?”

I knew this to be true. Why could I not have seen this before? I thought. Again I knew he was reading my very thoughts.

“Yes,” he continued, “you must know the ways of the self, your thoughts, by being impersonally aware of them, looking at yourself in your realization to others and the things you talk about, just as you would observe someone else. There, in that state, is the echoing of your conditioning which can be observed without condemning, without fear, freed from such conditioning. In this way you will discover yourself, you will see how you have conditioned yourself, through your fear, your condemning, your criticism, your resistance, for these are the ways of the self.

“In this freedom there is neither conflict nor illusion. In this process there is true meditation.”

Then I said, “I see that freedom which is Truth does not come into being through the search for It but through understanding the whole structure of the self, with all its desires, its prejudices, its conditioning, its cherished illusions, and when these are discerned and understood they dissolve away and what is left is Reality-the Real self.”

“Yes, that is true,” he answered. “Meditation is the discovery of the Real Self, not separated from other selves, but that which is Whole and complete, which is without conditioning of any kind. That experience is true meditation. “When you see that your conditioned thought has a beginning and ending in the self, being the product of the mind in bondage, there is silence, not the silence that is willed or the result of hypnotization but a silence that is not of time, a silence that is not created, but the silence in which the Eternal is revealed, this Silence being Eternity Itself.

“In this Silence there is the state of creation. This is the silence the Master knows and which you also will know. It is the Timeless that is Real, and is not conditioned by memories or experience and where conflict does not exist.

“So without understanding how you have conditioned yourself and merely forced your mind to meditate is a waste of time and energy which only creates more illusion. To know your thoughts and how they arise, and to understand your bondage, is the beginning of wisdom. If you do not understand yourself, meditation has no meaning, for, whatever you project, it is in accordance with your own conditioning and that is obviously not Reality.”

I was aware now, aware of the mightiness of Reality. I was aware of the mighty power he possessed and in that humility I knew that God could express himself wholly. His presence conveyed to me that same feeling, but I could not describe it. He rose up and blessed me. He felt my love go out towards him, for he said, “No one cometh unto me except through the Love of God.”

After he had gone I was speechless. It was as though some great mighty Power had come, and left with me a sense of It and I knew it would grow as I got more freedom. I saw him again in the morning before I began my journey over the Himalayas, and he told me that he would meet me in Yatung. He specially asked me not to mention his name in my writings for reasons which you will understand later on.

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